This week in an opinion piece written in The Hill by Target CFO John Mulligan, the “smartchip-enabled” REDCard was announced to show off the company’s newfound dedication to any and all things credit card security.
Target had already been working on the cards at the time of the heist, but now the production has been ramped up to overdrive on the project which will reportedly cost $100 million by the time REDCards launch in early 2015.
This target is six months ahead of the originally scheduled release date, likely as a message that Target is taking the public’s security concerns to heart, and that they are going to spend the next several years doing everything they can to clean up the data spill left in the gulf of their former customer’s hearts.
The smartcards work via a computer chip installed on the card itself, linked to RFID radios that can link up via an encrypted passcode. The beauty of this system is that even if hackers get a hold of the numbers on your account, without the physical credit card itself and they specialized key it contains, they won’t be able to charge it no matter how many POS systems they try to break through.
“For consumers, this technology differs in important ways from what is widely used in the United States today. The standard credit and debit cards we use now have a magnetic stripe containing the customer’s information. When first introduced, that stripe was an innovation. But in today’s world, more is needed.”
The program has already been rolled out into the early stages in the U.K, but the US is still dragging behind due to a continued reliance on the signature-based form of authentication we’ve all become so comfortable with until now.
In instances where these types of cards were used, both countries like the UK and Canada saw marketable drops in identity theft and financial crimes up to 67% and 74% respectively.