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More Than 535,000 California Credit Union Members Affected By Target Breach So Far

Cost to State's Credit Unions Totals $2.7 Million

ONTARIO, Calif., Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 530,000 debit and credit card accounts at California credit unions were affected by the Target stores security breach between late November and mid-December, representing an estimated $2.7 million in card reissuance and other costs so far, according to preliminary report by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Those costs most likely don't include potential fraud losses, which could be substantial, CUNA's survey-result analysis states.

An estimated 460,000 credit union debit cards and 75,000 credit union credit cards have been impacted so far. The average replacement cost per card is $5.10.

Nationwide, credit unions have so far incurred a nearly $30 million hit. The CUNA survey asked credit unions impacted by the Target data breach to outline the costs and burdens they have seen as a result. The breach resulted in the theft of 40 million debit and credit cards across the nation, and encrypted PIN data, as well as the names, mail and email addresses, and phone numbers of up to 110 million individuals.

"The impact of this breach—both on consumers and financial institutions, including credit unions — is astonishing," said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California Credit Union League, the Ontario-based trade association for credit unions in the state. "This reinforces the need for national legislation. As it stands now, financial institutions are left holding the bag every time a retailer leaves itself open to a security breach."

Credit unions continue to seek solutions to the merchant data breach problem. Credit unions are advocating for increased security at the retail level, more consumer notification as to where and how their information was breached, and reimbursement from the merchant for the breach to the financial institution — providing equity for the mutual cost of protecting consumers' financial data. 

American retailers should be required to accept credit cards like those in widespread use in most other nations, according to Dykstra. These cards feature hard-to-replicate digital chips to store account information unlike those used in the United States, which rely on easily copied magnetic stripes.

About the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues: With headquarters in Ontario, CA, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are the trade associations representing the interests of more than 400 credit unions in California and Nevada, and their 10 million members. For more information, go to www.ccul.org.

SOURCE California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues

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