FINANCE

NRF praises JPMorgan Chase for chip and PIN effort

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation (NRF) is officially recognizing the financial institution JPMorgan Chase & Co. for its decision to issue Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV)-compliant payment cards that require customers to enter a personal identification number (PIN), as well as store their personal data in an encrypted microchip.

Previously, JPMorgan Chase has issued EMV-compliant cards that require a customer signature, rather than a PIN, for authentication. The NRF has publicly come out in support of chip and PIN, stating that signature authentication does not effectively prevent thieves from impersonating the rightful owners of cards that are stolen or lost.

“Use of a PIN is absolutely essential to providing merchants and their customers with the full extent of protection available from chip-based cards,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, in a statement. “The chip authenticates that a card isn’t a counterfeit but it’s the PIN that ensures the card is being used by its actual owner and not a thief scrawling an illegible signature. Chip-and-signature cards just don’t offer the level of protection needed to help stop criminal hackers from making money off payment card data.”

NRF has encouraged uniform use of PIN and chip for years, and urged Chase in recent meetings to make full use of the double layer of protection these cards offer, Shay added. “The networks and issuing banks should follow their lead and do the same,” he said.

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REAL ESTATE

NPD: U.S. restaurant count up slightly over last year

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — The U.S. restaurant count increased by less than 1% from a year ago, reaching a total of 633,043 units, according to a recent restaurant census conducted by The NPD Group. Restaurant units increased by 4,179, or 0.7% over last year, based on NPD’s Fall 2013 ReCount, which is a count of commercial restaurant locations in the United States compiled in the spring and fall each year.

Restaurant chains grew counts by 1% to a total of 281,613 units, an increase of 3,171 over last year, according to the report, which includes restaurants open as of September 30, 2013.

The independent restaurant count stood at 351,430, up 1,008 units, compared to the year ago census.

Quick-service restaurant s grew units to 333,970, up 2%, and unit counts for full-service restaurants, which include casual dining, midscale/family dining, and fine dining, declined by 1% to 299,073 units.

Fast casual, which is a restaurant category under the quick-service segment, increased units by 902 for a total of 16,215 in the most recent NPD restaurant census, up 6% from the Fall 2012 ReCount.

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FINANCE

NRF: Tax reform proposal would boost economy

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation welcomed a proposal to reform the nation’s tax structure announced Wednesday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., saying it would strengthen the economy and jobs.

“This plan would give our nation the simpler, fairer tax system that we desperately need, but it’s about far more than just tax reform,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This is the foundation for job creation, increased take-home pay and business growth that would restore the prosperity that has slipped away for far too many American families.”

“This is good for the economy, and what’s good for the economy is good for retail,” Shay said. “Consumers with money in their pockets buy more, and the products they buy mean even more jobs, not just in stores but in virtually every sector as the ripple effect spreads out. Moves like this – not government-ordered wage hikes and other mandates that erect barriers to job creation – are the way to get America back on track,” Shay said.

Legislation proposed by Camp would lower the current top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% in return for eliminating a wide range of tax deductions and credits.

The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the proposal would boost GDP by $3.4 trillion over 10 years, create 1.8 million jobs, boost the median take-home income of a family of four by $1,300 annually and result in a 2.1% increase in consumer spending. By contrast, a Congressional Budget Office report found that increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from the current $7.25 would cost the nation 500,000 jobs.

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