A Matter of (Fading) Trust

25 Aug ’05

Eric Dash has a very good article in the NYT today on trust in the payments business in the aftermath of the CardSystems fiasco. Gist:

As a result, nearly two months after the disclosure that a tiny payment processor, CardSystems Solutions, exposed the personal information of more than 40 million cardholders – and even though Visa subsequently banned CardSystems from connecting to its operation – the system remains as vulnerable as ever. Only now, with their brands at stake, have Visa, MasterCard and the other major card companies begun to focus on their consumers’ main interests – ensuring that personal information is secure at all times.

“These are akin to terrorist attacks; we must take very aggressive steps,” John Philip Coghlan, the chief executive of Visa USA, said in an interview last month as he took over the card company’s largest division. “We can sit here and say we have zero liability and that no consumer will be harmed. If trust is eroded, the very foundation of the system will be eroded.”

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