By Jillian H.

At Arizona Federal, we believe protecting the privacy and security of our members’ accounts is our most important responsibility.

When we discover a data breach at a retailer, we take action immediately to change account numbers and issue new credit and debit cards for members who were affected. And, in many cases, certain laws prevent us from revealing which merchant caused the breach, even though we’re working to protect our members’ accounts.

The possibility of having our personal financial data stolen is enough of a burden. We shouldn’t have to worry about who is going to clean up the mess and pay the bills for the fraud. In 2016, there were more than 1,000 data breaches and over 36 million data records exposed!

If you’re like most people, you probably assume that merchants are responsible since their security failures caused the theft of your data. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Credit unions like Arizona Federal bear the brunt of these costs after a merchant data breach, even though we (and members like you) had nothing to do with it.

Watch this short video that explains the issue in one minute:

Local Arizona credit union providing useful information regarding data breaches

To give you one example, after the Target breach, credit unions were left on the hook for $30.6 million and had to reissue 4.6 million credit and debit cards. This year alone[i], Arizona Federal has reissued almost 7,000 cards and lost almost $200,000 due to data breach fraud.

Because we are a not-for-profit cooperative owned by our members, you ultimately foot the bill. After you’ve been victimized by having your financial data stolen, you shouldn’t have to pick up the tab to clean up the mess.

Right now, merchants can shift most of the costs of their data breaches to others. So there is no incentive for them to spend the time and money to increase their data security. That’s wrong for consumers and it’s bad for our economy. That’s why Arizona Federal and other credit unions across the country are working together to improve protections for consumers who are victims of merchant data breaches.

If you’d like to learn more about what you can do, please take a few moments to visit StoptheDataBreaches.com.

[i] as of September 11, 2017