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After Target breach, the fight's on for smart cards

The data breach at Target may speed up the adoption of more secure credit card technology in this country, something that has dragged on for years. Chip-based "smart cards," already used in Europe, are difficult to counterfeit because the account information is encrypted and stored in an embedded microchip. Most point-of-sale transactions with these smart cards cannot be authorized without a PIN code. That's why it's called "PIN and chip" technology. Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, has sent a letter to the congressional leaders, calling on the banking industry to switch from the easy-to-hack magnetic stripe to the more secure PIN and chip.

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