US retailer Target is advancing a $100m programme to speed-up the adoption of chip-enabled smart cards in stores by early 2015, according to chief financial officer John Mulligan.
The move by the company is to protect its guests from increasing credit and debit card frauds and to showcase its continued support toward strengthening the data security.
Mulligan said Target will equip its proprietary REDcards and all of its store card readers in the US with chip-enabled smart-card technology by the first quarter of 2015, more than six months ahead of previous plans.
"The accelerated timing is part of a $100 million effort to put in place chip-enabled technology in all of Target’s nearly 1,800 U.S. stores."
"Updating payment card technology and strengthening protections for American consumers is a shared responsibility and requires a collective and coordinated response," Mulligan added.
The chip-enabled smart cards feature a tiny microprocessor chip that encrypts the transaction data shared with sales terminals used by merchants. This does not allow thieves to counterfeit the stolen card.
The technology is already in use in the UK, Canada and Australia and has proven to reduce fraud at physical store locations.
Mulligan said at Target, they take their responsibilities to their guests very seriously, and this attack has only strengthened their resolve.
"We will learn from this incident and, as a result, we hope to make Target and our industry more secure for consumers in the future," Mulligan added.
The recent data breach in December 2013 affected up to 70 million customers of Target, with some 40 million credit and debit card records containing personal information such as addresses and telephone numbers reported stolen.