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Commerce Bank Re-Issues Cards Throughout Schnucks Territory

The cost to the bank has been "significant," an executive said. The news comes after thousands of Schnucks customers had their credit and debit cards compromised due to a security breach.

Customers of Commerce Bank should keep an eye on the mail. You're likely getting new debit cards, even if you didn't ask for one.

Clayton-based Commerce Bancshares confirms that customers throughout the region are getting new cards as a precaution following a security breach at Schnucks grocery stores around the area that compromised customer financial data.

Carl Bradbury, Commerce's Director of Consumer Products, wouldn't identify Schnucks by name in an interview Thursday but did acknowledge "a large event" where cards were considered compromised, prompting the move. The decision to re-issue does not mean that a customer's card was necessarily compromised, but that it was used during a time period where others were.

Bradbury also said that just because a card was compromised doesn't mean it will have fraudulent expenses charged to it.

He called the "event" one of the largest in the area this year but said it was "nowhere near the biggest."

While some banks have gone public with the amount of money lost in absorbing the fraudulent purchases, Commerce declined to do so, but did say the cost of re-issuing thousands of cards has been significant.

"No financial institution likes to re-issue thousands of cards," he said. 

Bradbury reminded customers to keep an eye on their accounts. Common industry standards generally ensure that banks will absorb the losses brought on by fraudulent expenses if they're flagged within 60 days.

"Attempted fraud is a non-stop thing," Bradbury said. "This is just another event."

Stephanie R. May 10, 2013 at 03:44 PM
CK, let's hope you don't run or own a business. Schnucks is responsible because 1) They're responsible for IT security and 2) They knew about the problem and kept silent for weeks. Credit card and personal information is a PRIVACY ISSUE. Schnucks is responsible for protecting customers privacy. Burglaries and robberies are NOT personal information privacy issues.
Lee May 10, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Stephanie R, you hit the nail on the head. The worst part of the whole situation was Scnucks silence, leaving all of us vulnerable and unknowing. They had an ethical obligation to communicate the beach to customers promptly and failed...which should make everyone wonder why? What are they hiding?
Mike K May 10, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Schnucks doesn't decide whether or not a bank will re-issue cards. The bank decides. They factor in lots of things into that decision. PR is one of them. Cost to replace the cards is another. The scope of the set of compromised cards is another. And not everyone knows all of that information the second after someone notices a breach has occurred or who is responsible. The consumer can only vote with their wallet by either using a different bank or shopping at different merchants. The consumer gave up any say in how security is implemented when they got the $50 federal liability maximums and "free" (no annual fee) debit/credit cards in exchange for not having any liability. Because the banks have all the liability, they do basic arbitrage (cost/benefit) and risk analysis on events all the time, every day. Anyone else know which banks were involved in the 45 MILLION DOLLAR ATM heists that hit the news today (even though the thefts occurred back in December and February)?
Mike K May 10, 2013 at 07:48 PM
That was a rhetorical question about which banks. My point was that if it was mentioned, it was buried in the story, and even then, the details are pretty murky, and Schnucks may have been just as in the dark about what happened and when and what data was stolen (or even the information they were being given was incorrect or changing), so saying "It's all Schnucks' fault and they should have known/done better!" is a bit uninformed.
Scott Simon May 16, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Wouldn't have been a story if Schnucks had better IT security. New stores Schnucks acquired weren't affected. The new stores came in with better IT! http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/schnucks-breach-happened-when-cards-were-awaiting-approval/article_98fb4519-1d3f-5a10-9735-e698090ddc07.html

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