Foster Innovation in Customer Experience
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NRF encourages technology that improves customer experience and advances innovation while safeguarding critical data. In a modern retail world that ranges from in-store to online and takes payments from cash to mobile, many issues affect the daily customer experience. NRF is working to make sure customers’ credit and debit card data and other private information is secure whether the answer lies in chip-and-PIN cards or the security that can be provided through smartphones. Even when cards are secure, the “swipe fees” the card industry charges to process transactions drive up prices for consumers, so NRF has sought to bring the fees under control. While privacy must be protected, retailers should still be able to make special offers to customers shopping online or through mobile devices in stores. And NRF is fighting organized retail crime, which costs retailers $30 billion a year.
- Data Security – Banks need to include PINs in addition to chips on new credit cards and cooperate with retailers on other steps to fix the banking industry’s inherently fraud-prone card system.
- Privacy – Protecting the privacy of sensitive customer data is one of retailers’ top priorities, but policymakers should not adopt arbitrary laws or regulations that restrict retailers’ ability to serve their customers.
- Swipe Fees – Credit and debit card swipe fees are far out of proportion to the cost of processing transactions and need to be brought under control because they cost retailers tens of billions of dollars annually and drive up prices by hundreds of dollars a year for the average household.
- Mobile – With mobile representing a growing percentage of online shopping and smartphones increasingly used as payment devices, Washington should be careful not to place restrictions on mobile that limit its innovative potential or attempt to solve problems that do not exist.
- Organized Retail Crime – Legislation is needed to make ORC a federal crime, establish appropriate penalties and give law enforcement the resources needed to end the $30 billion a year in losses suffered by retailers across the country.
- Cybersecurity – Legislation is needed to make it easier for private business to share information about cyber threats
- Telecommunications – Congress should consider updating the Telecommunications Act, which was last revised during the pre-Internet era.
The NRF Retail Opportunity Index encourages Congress to:
- Invest in U.S. jobs by implementing tax policy that makes U.S. companies competitive in the global economy and provides a level playing field among all sectors of the economy and all sectors of retail whether the merchant delivers its product in a store, through the mail or over the Internet.
- Open markets for consumer goods by tearing down trade barriers that drive up prices for American shoppers and limit export markets for American companies, ending regulations that artificially drive up prices, and making it easier for foreign visitors to come to the United States to shop.
- Modernize U.S. infrastructure by improving and expanding the current transportation system in order to end bottlenecks and inefficiencies and to make it easier for American companies to grow and be competitive.
- Support workforce investment by supporting jobs and economic growth rather than union organizers and expensive new regulations and mandates.
- Foster innovation in customer experience by working with retailers to improve credit and debit card security through agreed-upon standards rather than bank-issued mandates, and to protect privacy while still being able to give shoppers a customized and personalized experience online and in store.
- Promote technology development by passing reform legislation that would block frivolous lawsuits threatened by “patent trolls” over dubious infringement claims.
- Policy Agenda
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