Consumer Payment Card News

BREACH IRONY

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on_target_cardtrakIf there was one U.S. credit card issuer and U.S. retailer that had the foresight to see the “chinks-in-the-chain” of credit/debit card security it is Target. The irony is Target is currently being demonized unfairly for a credit card/debit card data breach, even though they were the first national retailer to advocate EMV payment cards from the “get-go” (a/k/a smart cards, Chip & PIN). It is time for the U.S. to get “smart” about payments cards and rebuild the payments infrastructure to keep pace with other developed countries like the European Union and end these needless losses and frustration to U.S. consumers, issuers, networks, processors – BLAH BLAH BLAH!

Look at these CardTrak and CardFlash stories from more than 13 years ago with good and bad news about Target “being on Target.”

October 10, 2001 from CardTrak.com —

In less four weeks the most significant launch of smart VISA cards in the USA will get underway. Target unveiled this week the design of its new smart VISA card which will start taking applications on November 1st. The new VISA card will be issued by Retailers National Bank, an affiliate of Target.

The launch is significant in both the potential number of smart cards to be issued and the number of smart card terminals to be deployed. Target announced in June it will deploy smart card POS terminals in all 990 Target Stores by the spring of 2002. Target currently has 36.4 million retail credit card and plans to convert millions of these accounts to smart VISA cards.

Target also expects to expand the functionality of its current rewards program offered under the Target Guest Card program with the new smart card. The company currently operates 1,320 stores in 46 states including 990 Target stores, 266 Mervyn’s stores and 64 Marshall Field’s stores.

VISA says it expects the Target program will contribute significant growth to the number of smart VISA cards issued in the USA. VISA projects there will be about seven million smart VISA cards-in-force by year’s end among all its current issuers. Providian, the biggest cheerleader of the smart VISA card, broke through the one million card level in June, and intends to migrate nearly all its 17 million accounts to smart cards. Combined, Fleet and First USA have issued less than one million smart VISA cards to-date.

http://cardtrak.com/data/35936/on-target/
June 22, 2001 from CardTrak.com —

The gimmicks are over as smart payment cards enter prime time in the USA. This week a major retailer has decided to give smart cards a big boost by installing smart card terminals as well as announcing plans to issue millions of smart VISAs. MN-based Target Corporation will issue the new smart cards through its Retailers National Bank affiliate this Fall, and will deploy smart card POS terminals in all 990 Target Stores by the Spring of 2002.

Target currently has more than 36 million retail credit card accounts, and plans to convert millions of these accounts to smart VISA cards.Target says it will focus on developing a loyalty function on the co-branded smart VISA that could enable a cardholder to download electronic coupons onto the card from a PC. Target also expects to expand the functionality of its current rewards program offered under the Target Guest Card program with the new smart card.

The company currently operates 1,320 stores in 46 states including 990 Target stores, 266 Mervyn’s stores and 64 Marshall Field’s stores. For more information visit www.target.com.

http://cardtrak.com/data/35883/smart-target/

November 1, 2001 from CardTrak.com —

The biggest Smart VISA launch got underway today as Target started taking applications online for the new smart card. For a limited time Target is giving away, to new cardholders, an in-home smart card reader which generates exclusive offers from target.com, fields.com and GiftCatalog.com from the computer chip embedded on the VISA card.

The card also includes the Target Rewards program offering one point for every dollar spent at a Target store or target.com. Purchases made elsewhere with the card will earn one point for every two dollars spent. Cardholders accumulating 1,000 points will receive a Target Rewards certificate good for 10% savings on one entire Target VISA purchase at any Target store.

There is a limit of one 10% savings certificate per billing period, but excess points carry over to the next billing period. The Target smart VISA carries interest rates of 9.9%, 12.9%, 15.9% or 18.9%, depending on credit qualification. Applicants who did not qualify will, in most cases, be issued the Target Guest Card, the retailer’s store card. The new VISA card is issued by Retailers National Bank, an affiliate of Target. For more information visit:http://www.target.com.

http://cardtrak.com/data/35952/target-visa/

March 5, 2002 from CardTrak.com —
Target’s new smart VISA card has gone from zip to 2.5 million cardholders in less than five months, becoming the third largest issuer of smart credit cards in the USA, just behind American Express and Providian. Since the launch of the VISA program in September, Target has generated $1.5 billion in VISA card loans, and they expect to top $4.5 billion by the end of this year.

The new VISA issuer is on the verge of becoming one of the nation’s “Top 25″ issuers of bank credit cards, and could break into the “Top 15″ by the end of this year, according to CardData (http://www.carddata.com). The card includes the Target Rewards program, offering one point for every dollar spent at a Target store or target.com. Purchases made elsewhere with the card will earn one point for every two dollars spent. Cardholders accumulating 1,000 points will receive a Target Rewards certificate good for 10% savings on one entire Target VISA purchase at any Target store.

There is a limit of one 10% savings certificate per billing period, but excess points carry over to the next billing period. The Target smart VISA carries interest rates of 9.9%, 12.9%, 15.9% or 18.9%, depending on credit qualification. Applicants who did not qualify will, in most cases, be issued the Target Guest Card, the retailer’s store card. The new VISA card is issued by Retailers National Bank, an affiliate of Target. For more information visit:http://www.target.com.

http://cardtrak.com/data/36019/on-target-2/

BAD NEWS (SORRY) —-

March 1, 2004 from CardFlash.com —

Smart payment card expansion in the USA received a major setback as Target confirmed it is removing the smart card feature from all of its VISA cards over the next twelve months. Target was the first major retailer to embrace smart cards on a national basis, launching its “smart VISA” card in November 2001 with plans to deploy smart card terminals in its stores nationwide.

Australia- and Detroit-based Catuity first announced over the weekend that Target was phasing out its use of smart chip technology over the next 12 months. Catuity was signed in 2002, under a three-year contract, to provide software as part of an e-couponing smart loyalty application in 2002.

Catuity says the decision by Target will materially hurt its revenue and income forecast. Target recently reported that its “smart VISA” portfolio posted 4Q/03 outstandings of $4.19 billion, an 11% increase over 4Q/02. (CF Library 10/5/01; 2/20/04)

For more information visit CardFlash.com

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