Debit Card Protection Bill Advances In NJ

credit cardsConsumers who use their debit cards to make purchases at New Jersey businesses could soon see new protections aimed at thwarting identity theft. The state Senate Commerce Committee recently endorsed a measure that would require merchants to truncate debit card account numbers and expiration dates on all sales receipts, including copies they retain. Proponents note the practice is already done with credit card account numbers, with retailers barred from electronically printing more than the last five digits of a customer’s account number or the card’s expiration date. So the cost of implementing the bill would likely be minimal. 

“This bill just makes common sense,” said Assemblyman Matthew Milam, D-Cape May Court House, who sponsored the measure in the Assembly along with Annette Quijano, D-Union. “In this day and age, when identity theft is proving all too common, there’s no reason why a consumer’s credit or debit card number should ever be made available to others.”

The measure — which the Assembly passed by a 76-0 vote in February — now heads to the Senate for a vote, though the date hasn’t been scheduled yet. If it’s approved there, the bill would go to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk for his consideration. 

If the measure becomes law, violators could face fines of up to $1,000.

 “This is a straightforward consumer protection measure,” Quijano said. “We provide this protection for credit cards, we should provide it for debit cards.”

 Sen. Chris Connors, R-Lacey, is sponsoring the measure in that chamber. Mycentraljersey.

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