Visa Presses Adoption of Chips After Target Breach

By FOXBusiness

Visa (NYSE:V) once again urged the industry to adopt securer chip-based cards on Thursday, calling Target’s (NYSE:TGT) December breach “unfortunate for everyone involved.”

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The world's largest credit and debit card operator also reported a stronger-than-expected 9% increase in first-quarter profit as more people around the world swapped plastic for cash.

More than 40 million credit cards and 70 million personal records were stolen from Target in a security breach last month during the critical holiday shopping period.

Visa said well-established rules that govern traditional networks as well as cooperation between merchants, financial institutions and networks minimized the monetary losses, but Scharf nevertheless encouraged the adoption of new safeguards, such as EMV chip and tokenization.

“These incidents remind us of the need for all of us to continue to work together to secure payments from criminals,” Visa CEO Charlie Scharf said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Visa said it earned $1.4 billion, or $2.20 a share, in the first quarter, compared with a year-earlier $1.29 billion, or $1.93 a share. Analysts on average in a Thomson Reuters poll were calling for earnings of $2.20.

Revenue for the three-month period increased 11% to $3.2 billion from $2.8 billion previously, beating the Street’s view of $3.13 billion.

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2014 outlook but did not provide specific full-year earnings per share or revenue targets.