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RILA details retailers’ actions on data security

BY Dan Berthiaume

WASHINGTON — The Retail Industry Leaders Association spoke out in Washington, D.C., this week on the steps retailers are taking to protect against data breaches.
 
Brian Dodge, executive VP, communications and strategic initiatives at RILA, testified at the House Financial Services Committee hearing, “Protecting Consumers: Financial Data Security in the Age of Computer Hackers,” Thursday, May 14.
 
In his testimony, Dodge outlined the major steps taken by the retail community to enhance cybersecurity throughout the industry, including an investment of more than $8 billion to upgrade payment terminals to accept more secure chip-based credit cards. Dodge also urged banks to issue Chip-and-PIN credit cards instead of the less secure Chip-and-Signature cards, which lack the two-factor authentication protection that has reduced fraud in Europe and Canada.
 
While highlighting current efforts on the part of the retail industry to combat cyber-attacks and share threat information, Dodge also voiced support for federal data breach legislation that clears up regulatory confusion to better protect and notify consumers in the event of a successful attack.
 
“One area of security that needs immediate attention is payment card technology,” said Dodge in his testimony. “RILA members have long supported the adoption of stronger debit and credit card security protections. The woefully outdated magnetic stripe technology used on cards today is the chief vulnerability in the payments ecosystem. This 1960s era technology allows cyber criminals to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud with ease.
 
“Retailers continue to press banks and card networks to provide U.S. consumers with the same Chip-and-PIN technology that has proven to dramatically reduce fraud when it has been deployed elsewhere around the world,” concluded Dodge.
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Costco launches social member referral program

BY Gina Acosta

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco is trying to increase its membership base in Canada with an innovative social media campaign.
 
The warehouse club retailer has launched a customer referral program twinned with social media that uses technology from a firm called Buyapowa.
 
The campaign launched this week in partnership with Proctor & Gamble and will allow Costco members to win $20 of P&G Goods for every friend they refer to Costco to become a member. All successful referrers will be shown on a leaderboard, with additional P&G prizes awarded to those when the promotion ends.
 
According to Buyapowa, this kind of program is the next step in customer referrals: a gamified, social experience for users to encourage referrals as well as loyalty.
 
Here’s the steps Costco members will follow to sign up and win: 1. Click the Get Started button to register. 2. Enter your information. 3. Share with your friends! 4. Once shared, you will receive a confirmation email when someone you referred successfully signed up for a new Costco membership. 5. With each successful referral, you will receive your Gift Pack by mail within 6-8 weeks. 6. Check the Leaderboard for your ranking and chance to win more prizes!
 
The gift pack includes Tide Pods Free & Gentle (1 action pack), Febreeze clip (1 vent clip), Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (1 pad), Pantene Shampoo Sheer Volume (50 mL), Pantene Conditioner Sheer Volume (50 mL), Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo (50 mL), Olay Ultra Moisture Bodywash (50 mL), Secret Clinical (14 g), and Embrace Sensitive Razor (1).
 
Based in London and New York, Buyapowa is a 'Social Customer get Customer' sales platform used by the likes of Tesco, O2, NBC Universal, Costco, EE and Debenhams to transform fans and followers into shopper advocates.
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Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation awards more than $5M in grants

BY Gina Acosta

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General is making a difference in the lives of its customers and their communities with another massive donation to literacy programs.
 
The retailer’s Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $5.8 million in grants to support adult, family and summer literacy programs to approximately 720 schools, nonprofits and literacy organizations across the 43 states Dollar General serves.
 
“It is exciting to see the impact grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation make throughout the country, especially as we cross the $100 million threshold in overall donations and the difference it has made to nearly six million people,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “The Dollar General Literacy Foundation truly embodies the company’s mission of Serving Othersthroughout the communities we serve.”
 
Recipients of the grants will use Dollar General Literacy Foundation funds to support programs aimed at enhancing summer, family and adult literacy programs. Grants will be used to help promote childhood summer reading or help adults learn to read, prepare for the high school equivalency exam or learn English.
 
A complete list of grant recipients may be found online at DGLiteracy.org.
 
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $100 million in donations and grants to nearly 6 million people improve since the foundation’s inception in 1993.
 
 
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