Friday, President Obama signed a new Executive Order — the first part of the new BuySecure initiative — that takes critical steps to protect consumers’ financial security and improve confidence in the marketplace.
The Executive Order itself will help by assisting victims of identity theft, improving the government’s payment security as a customer and a provider, and accelerating the transition to stronger security technologies and the development of next-generation payment security tools.
In remarks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announcing the new BuySecure initiative, the President highlighted some of the specific steps that his Administration and the private sector are taking to improve Americans’ financial security — and called on Congress again to enact overdue cybersecurity legislation that will protect Americans, particularly by clarifying companies’ obligations when sensitive data is breached.
Millions of Americans suffer from credit card fraud and identity theft each year, and tens of millions have had their data breached in the last year alone. The President’s Executive Order will be an important step in making Americans safer by securing their payments to and from the federal government through Chip and PIN technology. This new technology will apply to both new and existing credit cards issued by the General Services Administration to government employees, as well as debit cards issued as part of benefit programs like Direct Express. It will also upgrade retail payment card terminals at federal agency facilities to accept Chip and PIN-enabled cards.
With Chip and PIN technologies, credit, debit, and other payment cards will contain embedded microchips instead of magnetic strips, and face-to-face transactions will require consumers to type their personal identification number (PIN), similar to ATM cards.