Visa First Card Network to Offer Point-to-Point Encryption for Merchants and Acquirers

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

In an announcement released Tuesday, Visa Inc. introduced a new data security service for Visa card accepting merchants and their payment acquirers that is the first of its kind among the card brands: a point-to-point encryption solution. The new service, Visa Merchant Data Secure with Point-to-Point Encryption, will be available early in 2013 according to the company’s press release. Visa is currently engaged in the arduous work of dealing with the multitude of acquirers, processors, and payment tech vendors to finalize specifications for the service to ensure broad market adoption.

“Merchants large and small have expressed an interest in encryption as a way to protect cardholder data in their payment systems and simplify their security protocols,” said Ellen Richey, Chief Enterprise Risk Officer, Visa Inc. “Since encrypted data can’t be used to commit fraud, Visa’s point-to-point encryption solution can significantly reduce the risk and impact of data compromises.”

This solution is part of Visa’s broader authentication strategy which aims to improve payment industry security by eliminating account data from the payment environment whenever possible, protecting sensitive information wherever it is stored, processed or transmitted, and devaluing stolen account information through dynamic authentication solutions such as EMV chip technology. P2PE technology is complementary to EMV chip technology, by providing an added layer of protection against the threat of data breaches, especially as the industry works to reach critical mass in the adoption of chip terminals and chip cards to benefit from EMV’s defense against counterfeit fraud.

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