Card News Roundup: Home Depot and Other Breaches; Millennial Trends

Fall usually brings its own busy-ness after the general sweet slowness of summer, and our current September is no exception. There are changes afoot in the payments business, notably the coming of EMV Cards here in America, their arrival hastened by the constant headlines about all-too-noteworthy security breaches in the news.

Unfortunately, one such breach has been keeping headline writers busy lately: Home Depot has experienced what Forbes describes as potentially “larger than the Target breach,” and says the home improvement chain “is investigating all transactions that have occurred since April. Given how long the breach lasted,” the article continues, it could end up “costing Home Depot hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The real kicker comes in the “lessons not learned” department: “The same malware used in the Target breach was likely also used to compromise Home Depot.”

In fact, the Home Depot news at Forbes was part of a round-up of data hacks, including one for the Healthcare.gov site. That has its own unfortunate punchline: “the manufacturer’s default password on the server had never been changed, the server was not subject to security scans, the test servers were mistakenly connected to the internet.”

Those are some of the very things we’ve cautioned about, or against, here on this blog, in our recent roundup of “Point of Sale” protection tips. If they slipped through your poolside reading this past summer, look them over now!

Concurrent with the unfolding story about Home Depot, comes a widely reported study that Millennials — that current “under 30” generation — are eschewing credit cards. Fully “six out of ten Millennials, or 63%, don’t have a single credit card, according to a Bankrate survey of 1,161 respondents. That compares to a mere 35% of Americans who are over the age of 30.”

And while the Millennial coming-of-age may have coincided with the Great Recession, perhaps making them more “debt averse” than usual (along with what the CNN article notes is mounting, and unrelenting, student loan debt).

But, CNN says, “instead, Millennials are turning to debit cards — especially prepaid debit cards, which are reloadable and often linked to bank accounts.”

That may not protect them when a breach comes — in fact, sometimes, debit cards have less “fraudulent charge” protection than credit cards — but it does mean that even your newest shoppers are still using plastic of some sort.

So be sure to meet your customers wherever and however they like to spend: Whether online, on-the-go, with prepaid cards, or with “regular” credit.

AVPS is there for all your payment and processing, regardless of season. Let us help make your business more breach-proof, and more customer-friendly!

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