Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Is NPR the Latest EMV Boondoggle Shill

The payment card industry push for EMV has little to do with security and everything to do with increasing profits from retailers and ultimately consumers. The costs to implement EMV far exceed the benefits (see http://paymentnetworks.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-regressive-movement-to-europay.html ) and yet the main stream media continue to trumpet the industry line without really examining their true motives.  The fact that using the current infrastructure and requiring PIN entry fixes the problem of skimming, scraping, and card not present (CNP) fraud does not seem to matter to anyone. Lazy reporting, and promoting a corporate agenda are the feed for today’s media and that is not a surprise to anyone.  There are still  some jewels in the tarnished media crown that take the time to unearth real news and discover the dialectic pulse that vibrates across all human endeavors. Their numbers dwindle and recently National Public Radio (NPR) published a puff piece that demonstrates how problematic any reporting from the most venerable of media outlets has become.  

The NPR report on EMV conversion naturally discussed the completely discredited defense against fraud motivation, but then almost hit on the truth. In the article (see: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/01/05/375164839/u-s-credit-cards-tackle-fraud-with-embedded-chips-but-no-pins ) the reporter (Jim Zarroli) almost came close to the truth but ultimately spouted the corporate line “PINs would actually turn off U.S. customers” without so much as a look at the supposed marketing survey that produced such malarkey.

So the listening public gets the false impression that EMV protects against modern day financial data intercept attacks and that the expense for this needless conversion to an expensive infrastructure that functions exactly the same as the current infrastructure (in key aspects) is due to issuers looking after the public’s well-being.  Is this really the same network reporting on the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) antics while waging the terrorism war?

The story in the Halcyon days might have brought light to the payment services industry lobbying efforts in Congress, their loss of fees because of Dodd Frank, their loss of monopoly due to mobile payments and other innovative approaches to payment? However now the long suffering public hears a puff piece sounding a lot like the industry’s PR shills. Real reporting does not pay anymore however NPR used to have a reputation for good reporting.  Let’s hope this report is an aberration and not the coming trend.

Next Blog: Payment Trends in the Coming Year

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