Banks Say Target Hack Has Cost Them $153 Million In Replacement Cards

It’s not just Target’s sales figures that are feeling the sting of the massive data breach that affected more than 100 million customers at the height of the holiday shopping season. According to a group representing the nation’s retail banks, financial institutions have had to spend more than $153 million to replace credit and debit cards in the last six weeks.

Among banks, JPMorgan Chase and Citi are the two largest institutions that opted to proactively replace debit cards for customers whose accounts were affected by the Target breach. But they are only a sizable chunk of the 15.3 million cards the Consumer Bankers Association says have been replaced in the wake of the breach.

According to the CBA, the average cost of replacing a card is $10 per card. Included in that amount is the cost of the actual card, plus the expenses associated with informing consumers of the card being reissued, shipping and activating that new card, and any supplemental communications consumers have with the banks’ call centers about these replacement cards.

And so it calculates that the current total cost to its member banks is at least $153,903,440 and growing.

The CBA says these numbers reflect just the new cards that have been issued in direct response to the Target hack. It does not include any new cards handed out related to smaller breaches like the one at Neiman Marcus or the possible attack on the Michaels chain of craft stores.

Meanwhile, earlier today U.S. Attorney General confirmed at a Senate hearing that the Justice Department is indeed actively investigating the Target breach.

“While we generally do not discuss specific matters under investigation, I can confirm the Department is investigating the breach involving the U.S. retailer, Target,” said Holder.

Banks have replaced 15.3 million cards since Target breach [StarTribune.com]