Walmart May Require Security Code for Credit Card Purchases

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This post comes from Lynn Oldshue at partner site LowCards.com.

In an effort to enhance its credit card security, Walmart may soon require shoppers to punch in their credit card security codes when making purchases over a certain price.

This process may not be as effective as the shift to chip-and-PIN cards in the coming years, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

When most credit card thieves steal information on a card, they usually obtain the card number and expiration date. But the three-digit security code is on the back of most cards and much more difficult to retrieve. So by requesting this additional information, Walmart could prevent identity thieves from using stolen credit card numbers.

In order to keep customers safe after this kind of transition, Walmart will need a way to store credit card numbers and security codes separately. Otherwise one data breach could expose more information than any thief would ever need.

Consumers are understandably concerned about card security in light of the recent data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus, Sally Beauty and Michaels.

Some question whether Walmart should go through with this transition or just wait for the move to chip-and- PIN technology. If they are already going to have to upgrade all of their payment processors in the coming months, is it really worth the effort to do so right now for just a temporary fix?

We aren’t sure what Walmart is going to do, but don’t be surprised if you are asked for your card’s security code in the near future.

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Comments & discussion

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  • beachbaby

    This “last line of defense” if required to be revealed for purchases IN THE STORE, is another disaster waiting to happen. Instead of making us give up this information, why not actually train the clerks that work there to PAY ATTENTION, ask for ID and ACTUALLY LOOK AT IT, COMPARE SIGNATURES and if any doubt remains, ask for more documentation. Punching in a security code does nothing to ensure against fraud. What it does it makes us more vulnerable to data breaches that are on the rise. What genius thinks including this code WHICH IS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD THAT IS BEING USED FOR THE PURCHASE is any kind of solution?

    • Lisa

      Also, if the thief has your credit card in hand, how does asking for the code help? All they have to do is turn in over! If it was your card info (number, expiration date, etc.) that was stolen then this process only helps with online purchases. You can’t make IN STORE purchases without the actually card anyway. Come on people…you have to at least be smarter than the thieves!

      • TechGuru

        You’re obviously not.
        Thieves use their own cards with their own names on them in stores but have cloned the magnetic strip on them to the strip of a stolen skimmed card, thus the CCV number on the back of their card is not the correct one for the stolen card.
        Magnetic strips are the easiest thing in the world to copy and clone, it’s like copying a cassette tape, hell 90% of hotel’s own a magnetic strip programmer they use for room keys (major security issues there too).

        RFID (MasterCard PayPass / Visa PayWave) is also easy to clone it just takes different equipment that is less common.
        SmartChips which is what we’re moving to is the hardest to clone, they’re just like the SIM cards in phones and DirecTV’s access cards.

        • Lisa

          Here in Huntsville, the majority of the credit card thefts are not cloned magnetic strips but from actual stolen numbers or stolen cards themselves. I don’t know where you are from but I was GENERALLY speaking of my area. And Yes, I do know about stealing card info and cloning it but like I said that does not really happen here. Even so..this still will not stop it but only slow it down a little. As long as there are electronic means it can be hacked or stolen. Any TECHGURU should know that!

          • TechGuru

            Well you didn’t state that, in my area it’s more what I said. Some stores are asking to see the last 4 numbers on the card and type them in so that the computer can confirm the card face numbers match the mag strip numbers. I think it was Lowes that was doing this, if not it was Home Depot.
            I don’t understand why Walmart doesn’t just require the PIN. Every credit card I’ve seen does in fact have a PIN assigned to it (or you picked it upon activation) for use at ATM machines.

          • Lisa

            Here in my area our local Walmart requires a pin for debit and a signature for credit. I once had to run my debit as credit because of a glitch and they ask for the 3 digit code. Maybe that’s the difference? Anyway…I believe as long as it’s electronic or computerized…there’s risk.

    • TechGuru

      Merchants are not allowed to ask for ID per MasterCard merchant agreement. All they can do is compare the signature on the back of the card with the one signed on the receipt.

  • grandmaguest

    This is often requested, and rightfully so, when making a purchase with a credit card on line. Is a great line of defense. I’m not sure what the purpose would be to do so in the actual store, since you would have the card with you.
    I seldom have anyone even flip the card over (I have written on the back to request an ID) to even look for a signature much less require any other form of identification. However, I always thank those who do! To use the “pin number” on the back makes no sense what so ever.

    • TechGuru

      Read my first reply to Lisa.

  • I.Popoff

    Newsflash! They already are asking for it. I encountered this when I bought groceries there ten days ago.