Not in our neighbourhood - yet

05 January 2015

Data breaches in the USA have been well publicised – Target, Home Depot, Sears Kmart and possibly Staples have been affected during the past 12 months. Even the almighty Apple has fallen victim to hackers of its iCloud storage. But even with global publicity, it’s easy for UK based retailers to be lulled into a false sense of security that they needn’t worry about troubles across the pond.

It’s true that payments technology is not as advanced in the US; EMV chip adoption lies at around 47% currently, whereas it has been fully deployed in Europe. However, this doesn’t mean UK retailers can afford to relax when it comes to protecting customers’ payment information.

There are some interesting lessons to be learned about the impact of recent data breaches, which serve as a stark warning to retailers in all geographies. For example, 45% of US credit and debit card holders claim they are now likely to avoid shopping with a retailer whose security systems have been hacked during the last year.

Given the international media coverage of US card payment security failures, it’s only a matter of time before consumers worldwide begin to question the safety of their information. They will turn to retailers and card providers for assurance, seeking concrete evidence that risk has been minimised.

As a result of this, the issue of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is rising steadily up the retail agenda, and businesses can no longer afford to remain complacent about their system security. The UK may have fully embraced EMV chip technology, but according to Verizon, only 11% of retailers were fully compliant in 2013.

The US might have been hit with the brunt of the data breach scandal, but payment security is a global issue. Only by embracing the latest standards as a minimum, both at the Point of Sale and across the network, can companies minimise their chances of becoming the next victim. 

Not in our neighbourhood - yet

Data breaches in the USA have been well publicised – Target, Home Depot, Sears Kmart and possibly Staples have been affected during the past 12 months. Even the almighty Apple has fallen victim to hackers of its iCloud storage. But even with global publicity, it’s easy for UK based retailers to be lulled into a false sense of security that they needn’t worry about troubles across the pond.

It’s true that payments technology is not as advanced in the US; EMV chip adoption lies at around 47% currently, whereas it has been fully deployed in Europe. However, this doesn’t mean UK retailers can afford to relax when it comes to protecting customers’ payment information.

There are some interesting lessons to be learned about the impact of recent data breaches, which serve as a stark warning to retailers in all geographies. For example, 45% of US credit and debit card holders claim they are now likely to avoid shopping with a retailer whose security systems have been hacked during the last year.

Given the international media coverage of US card payment security failures, it’s only a matter of time before consumers worldwide begin to question the safety of their information. They will turn to retailers and card providers for assurance, seeking concrete evidence that risk has been minimised.

As a result of this, the issue of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is rising steadily up the retail agenda, and businesses can no longer afford to remain complacent about their system security. The UK may have fully embraced EMV chip technology, but according to Verizon, only 11% of retailers were fully compliant in 2013.

The US might have been hit with the brunt of the data breach scandal, but payment security is a global issue. Only by embracing the latest standards as a minimum, both at the Point of Sale and across the network, can companies minimise their chances of becoming the next victim.