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NRF Proposes Change With Regard to Credit-Card Transactions

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C., In a major security change intended to make retailers not liable when customer data is stolen, the National Retail Federation (NRF) on Thursday urged credit-card companies to change the way they process transactions.

The NRF proposed that instead of retailers keeping a customer’s credit-card number as part of its sales records, the bank would hold it. The retailer would keep only a truncated receipt and an authorization number linking back to the banked date.

“It makes more sense for credit-card companies to protect their data from thieves by keeping it in a relatively few secure locations than to expect millions of merchants scattered across the nation to lock up their data for them,” David Hogan, the retail federation’s CIO, said in a strongly worded letter.

The NRF proposal comes amid growing industry concern over data security. The biggest recent retail data breach involved TJX Cos., which said early this year that information from at least 45 million customer credit and debit cards had been exposed to potential fraud. Last month, Canadian investigators concluded TJX had kept data with insufficient encryption for years after it should have been purged.

Credit-card companies require retailers to comply with security standards known as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, or PCI. Less than half the nation’s biggest merchants appear to be complying with the standards, which include encryption and other safeguards, despite a Sept. 30 deadline set by Visa USA, which plans to levy monthly fines up to $25,000 against merchant banks that noncompliant retailers rely on.

Visa, the nation’s largest credit-card network, said as of Aug. 31, 44% of big retailers were in compliance with PCI. Those retailers account for about half of nationwide Visa transactions.

The NRF sent its proposed change to the PCI Security Standards Council Wednesday. Members of the council were reported to be reviewing the proposal, but had no immediate comment.

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CVS/pharmacy sees monthly comps gain

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark today announced that same-store sales in its CVS/pharmacy division increased by 5% for the five weeks ended Sept. 29 over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 4.3%. Front-end same-store sales increased 6.8%.

The comany reported that for the third quarter, same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy increased 5% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 4.3%, while front-end same store sales increased 6.5%.

 

For the 39-week period, the company reported that same-store sales at CVS/pharmacy increased 6% over the prior year period. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.8%, while front-end same store sales increased 6.3%.

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Walgreens offers discounts for AARP members

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON Walgreens is partnering with AARP to offer its members access to discounted health, beauty and wellness products.

The company has launched a new catalogue, “AARP Health Essentials by Walgreens” and a new Web site, http://aarp.walgreens.com, which offer AARP members an exclusive 5% discount on more than 20,000 products.    

Citing a report by The Resource for Marketing Executives, which says that baby boomers account for 61% of all over-the-counter medication purposes, AARP said it felt its partnership with Walgreens was the right move.

“Our 39 million members represent a large percentage of this group and our relationship with Walgreens will provide them with discounts and easier access to a wide variety of health-related products,” said Adam Sohn, associate director of AARP media relations.

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