Sam's Club to Issue Credit Card With Security Chip--Update

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Michael Calia

Sam's Club, the warehouse-club chain owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said it would unveil a new credit card that features chip-enabled security technology.

The new card--co-branded with MasterCard Inc. and issued by GE Capital Retail Bank--represents the first active adoption of the technology by a mass retailer, Sam's Club said.

MasterCard and rival Visa Inc. said in March they would form a group to accelerate the adoption of advanced computer chip technology, known as EMV, which is intended to make it more difficult for thieves to duplicate. The companies said then that the group would include banks, credit unions, merchant processors, makers of payment terminals and industry trade associations.

The companies have set an October 2015 deadline for retailers to adopt the technology more broadly, although the National Retail Federation has questioned the return on investment to update payment systems with EMV technology. The group has said it agrees that cards using both PIN- and chip-based technologies represent an improvement in data security, but it thinks retailers will upgrade at their own pace.

The security efforts come amid a series of breaches involving retailers and other companies, such as Target Corp., that have exposed the financial information of millions of consumers.

"This move by Sam's Club makes them a trailblazer in getting chip cards in the hands of businesses and consumers, and leading the push toward a safer and more secure customer experience," Chris McWilton, MasterCard's North American president, said Tuesday night. "This will no doubt help drive chip-enabled technology forward here in the U.S. as it gains more traction."

The new card, along with a new rewards program linked to it, will become available June 23, Sam's Club said.

Write to Michael Calia at michael.calia@wsj.com

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  06-04-141105ET
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This article appears in: Technology

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