Target wants to lead but will other retailers follow? After being hit by a colossal data breach during the peak holiday shopping season, Target will introduce more secure chip-and-PIN technology for its credit and debit cards by early next year. The technology is widely used in Europe, but U.S. banks and retailers have been reluctant to introduce more secure cards because of the expense. In an attempt to re-establish its reputation as a financially safe place to shop, Target has committed $100 million on new technology. Upgraded cash registers are being installed this year in all Target stores. “Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority,” CEO Gregg Steinhafel says. “I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to take the lessons learned from this incident and enhance our overall approach to data security and information technology.” Bob DeRodes, a former tech adviser at several federal government departments, will take over next week as Target’s chief information officer.
Walmart wants to be a financial supermarket. America’s biggest retailer is teaming up with AutoInsurance.com to let shoppers find and buy insurance policies online. Walmart says the service will save consumers hundreds of dollars a year. Walmart introduced a new money transfer service earlier this month.
Two of the world’s biggest banks, Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, may soon face criminal charges. The prosecution could result in the first guilty plea by a major bank in two decades, The New York Times reports. Prosecutors have been criticized for being too easy on financial firms. Credit Suisse is under investigation for offering tax shelters to help Americans avoid taxes. BNP Paribas allegedly did business with Sudan and other countries on a U.S. government blacklist. Representatives for BNP and Credit Suisse declined to comment.
Auto sales are expected to rise this spring. The industry will announce April sales numbers Thursday. Kelley Blue Book forecasts a 10 percent jump thanks to gains in consumer confidence and an improving jobs market. One in four new cars is now leased instead of purchased. That’s a big increase on several years ago and it’s being encouraged by automakers. “They very much want you in that dealership every three years if they can,” says Larry Dominique, president of the auto valuation firm ALG. “If you’re used to a car payment and you like cars which a lot of us in the United States love cars leasing’s a great option, because you can get in and out of cars every 2 years, get the latest and greatest.” But leasing can be a lot more expensive than owning a car.
Microsoft says it will start selling Xbox One game consoles in China in September. Technically, video game systems are banned in China, but Microsoft was able to get around this by forming a partnership with BesTV, which is partially owned by the Chinese government. Microsoft and BesTV have a joint video game venture called E-Home Entertainment. Microsoft says the Xbox launch is a “significant milestone” for the company and the industry.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow