Bentonville, Ark. – Major U.S. retailers including Wal-Mart Stores and Kroger reportedly already have hardware to read PIN-and-chip payment cards, which are more resilient against data breaches than the magnetic stripe payment cards commonly used by American consumers. However, according to the Dallas Morning News, the hardware is largely unusable because customers do not have PIN-and-chip cards.
Wal-Mart and Kroger spokespeople are both quoted in the article as saying they are ready to accept PIN-and-chip payment cards from a hardware perspective, but need the supporting infrastructure in place. That infrastructure includes processing systems as well as support from credit card issuers and banks.
The retailers also said that data thieves are aware of the mandate for all U.S. retailers to be able to accept payments from EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa)-compliant PIN-and-chip payment cards by October 2015, or be liable for any fraud losses resulting from a purchase with one of those cards. This deadline may be prompting hackers to steal as much data from magnetic stripe cards as possible before the deadline.