The Financial Supervisory Service has ordered credit card firms to raise money to adopt integrated circuit (IC) cards to prevent a repeat of personal information breaches, according to market sources on Sunday.
Up to eight credit card firms in the country will be obligated to raise a combined fund worth 100 billion won ($94.8 million) to bolster oversight of personal data management, the sources said.
Most of the funds will be used in adopting card readers that can accept IC cards, which are considered to be a safer payment method than the traditional magnetic stripe cards.
In January, the prosecution announced that it had discovered data leaks involving some 103 million customer accounts at KB Card, NH Card and Lotte Card.
The investigators said after a separate probe in March that data from 80 million more accounts had been leaked over a period of time.
Concerns that the information had fallen into the hands of scammers escalated among the public despite earlier statements by the firms that the culprits were caught before the information was distributed.
"Raising the fund to adopt IC-readable devices is no longer a choice but an obligation for the card firms," an official from the financial authority said, adding it will come up with detailed plans soon.
The FSS also vowed stronger disciplinary action if the credit card firms continue to be reluctant in taking additional actions to prevent another data spill down the road.
By Bae Hyun-jung and news reports (firstname.lastname@example.org)