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The NRA’s Garner said EMV compliance isn’t a complete solution and noted that the October 2015 timeline is “unrealistic.” She said it took Canada, with an economy smaller than that of the United States, seven to 10 years to move to a new level of card technology.

At large restaurant chains, changes in POS technology usually take about 18 to 24 months for acquisition and implementation. The companies then have to certify with their card processors that they are meeting their standards, she said.

That’s why organizations such as the NRA are seeking extensions of the deadline as the industry explores additional ways to increase data security. “We’ve asked the [financial services] industry to consider a more realistic timeframe,” Garner added, as well as consider more layers of cyber security.

In February, more than a dozen leading retail trade associations, including the NRA, announced a new cyber security partnership to focus on information sharing, card security technology and customer trust. Liz Garner, the NRA’s director of commerce and entrepreneurship, said in an interview that the organization has been observing data security for some time.

The group’s goal is to bring together all points in the payments chain — credit card processors, companies, equipment manufacturers and banks — to increase security for customer data.

“There’s much more that can be done to prevent overall fraud in the system,” Garner said. “The cyber security working group is definitely a step in the right direction to get all financial stakeholders to the table.”

“The restaurant industry has long sought a constructive, open dialogue with the financial services industry on the path forward toward creating a more secure payments environment for all stakeholders in the payments system,” Dawn Sweeney, the NRA’s president and chief executive said.

Sweeney said protection of customers’ financial and personal data is paramount to the industry, adding that “there is a shared responsibility between the financial sector and the retail sector to solve these issues together.”

The next piece of cyber security equation, Garner noted, is protecting data as it moves through the system, which she said is “absolutely critical.” The NRA’s role in the cyber security working group will address those issues as well, she said.

“There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle when we talk about data security and fraud prevention in general,” Garner said. “But we have absolutely got to do it to restore consumer confidence in the payment system.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless