PNC Changes Course, Decides To Issue New Credit & Debit Cards

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Home Depot discovered credit card and debit card information had been hacked from April to early September, one local bank — Dollar Bank — didn’t hesitate to act.

“We made a decision to reissue 100 percent of our cards that were impacted,” said Joe Smith of Dollar Bank last September.

Other banks took a wait-and-see attitude.

Now, PNC Bank will replace credit and debit cards used at Home Depot, as disclosed in a letter to customers.

PNC would not elaborate other than to say to KDKA money editor Jon Delano: “We made the decision to issue replacements once we believed the potential risk of fraud outweighed the inconvenience of replacements for our customers.”

“It’s the conservative approach,” says Paula Rosenblum, an analyst and managing partner of Retail Systems Research. “It’s the safest approach. We’re coming into the holiday season, and I think it makes all the sense in the world to clean it up for these guys.”

Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther says there are reasons for banks to change course.

“Maybe the cost of monitoring got too expensive. Maybe there were more incidents than they first expected. Or it could just be a PR issue,” said Luther.

PNC Bank is still sending out letters advising customers of whether they are getting a new debit or credit card.

Once you get the letter, you’ll get your new card in about 30 days, and the bank says activate it right away. But if you don’t, your old card will still be good until Jan. 30.

Regardless, it’s likely all PNC customers will get new cards in 2015.

Why?

Because PNC is switching to the safer EMV chip and pin cards that won’t need to be replaced when stores are hacked.

“We’re the last of the G-20 countries to move forward,” adds Rosenblum.

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