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Credit Security Improving Top News about Credit Cards!
2007-03-29 01:55:10

Securing your credit card deal is Visa's and MasterCard's main goal

As far back as 2005, credit consumers gained more confidence in the four major credit card companies (Visa International, MasterCard Worldwide, American Express and Discover Financial Services) and the number of credit card deals made with them rose in numbers.

What did the credit companies offer to attract more customers? Well they started to implement a 12-point security plan to protect credit card deals that are made online every day and thus are exposed to fraud threat. Thanks to the stringent network security rules, millions of companies possessing your personal information and information about your low rate, no annual fee credit card, can provide better protection for online and off-line credit payment transactions.

The new security rules are known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and all merchants handling your credit card information are required to comply with them. The main objective of the new credit security standards is to protect customers' ID and credit card information while making an online credit card deal or online credit card payment.

Due to the firm continuation of the security program adoption in 2007, such security-related requirements as, encrypted transmission of cardholder data, periodic network scans, logical and physical access controls, activity monitoring and logging are sure to be carried out and maintained.

To improve compliance of the merchants and acquiring banks with the new security requirements, Visa, Discover and other financial giants and credit card companies are getting more aggressive in their actions and are threatening merchants with fines if they fail to comply.

The matter is that when filling out online credit card application or paying with your credit card over the internet, your personal and credit card data are exposed to breaches and their misuse by hackers tarnishes your credit reputation and ruins credit card industry on the whole.

Thus, the main bodies to be imposed the new security standards are merchants directly dealing with your credit card information and banks giving the merchants the approval to accept credit cards. What Visa is going to suggest in connection with that is fining banks responsible for the merchants' compliance up to $500 000 for each incident of compromised data.

On the other hand, Visa International promises to reward complying banks and their largest customers with multimillion-dollar packages and isn't it an incentive enough to join in? Currently Visa is investing $20 million in a reward fund to pay to the financial institutions of the largest US merchants that will ratify compliance this summer. For the first time in history the four major competing credit card companies have come together in an attempt to protect payment-card information.

Is the PCI DSS tough? - this question still draws heated discussion and in spite of the incentive and such allowance as "compensating controls" that let merchants use alternative methods if unable to meet the new requirements, the application of the standards is still slow and even reluctant in some instances.

Some merchants tend to ignore the adoption of the new security standards until they are threatened with punishment. With the ever growing number of credit card deals made with Visa International, nearly half of its regular merchants are still not on board!

So, what's the main objective of credit card companies today? It's to provide considerably more reliable security for credit card application data and credit card payment information and in this way - encourage more credit consumers

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