New Credit Card Security Initiative

12 Jan ’06

Eric Dash at the NYT reports on a joint initiative by VISA and Mastercard to establish new credit card security standards. Gist:

Two longtime rivals in the credit card business are working together to create a private group that would set new industrywide security standards as early as the middle of this year, a MasterCard executive said yesterday.

Security officials from Visa USA and MasterCard International began quietly meeting early last year to discuss the best way to improve data security. But the high-profile disclosure of a security breach at CardSystems Solutions, a tiny payment processor that left 40 million cardholder accounts exposed to fraud, has given the effort a new push.

Visa and MasterCard executives have separately proposed the idea of an independent standard-setting body that can certify that member banks and merchants have met certain guidelines and standards.

“We have had preliminary conversations, and it would be a good idea to have these P.C.I. standards in an open standards body,” said Chris Thom, Mastercard’s chief risk officer, referring to the payment card industry rules. “There is no reason that this shouldn’t be done.”

Via David Fraser.

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