White House Reveals How Payments Companies Are Stepping up Security

by Ben Jackson 0

At the White House Summit on Cyber Security and ConsumerProtection this week, payments received some special attention, and the WhiteHouse announcedhow payments providers are making changes to protect consumers. Examplesincluded:

  • Visa is committing to tokenization –substituting credit card numbers with randomly generated tokens for eachtransaction – by the end of the 1st quarter of 2015.
  • MasterCard will invest more than $20 million innew cybersecurity tools, including the deployment of Safety Net, a new securitysolution that will reduce the risk of large-scale cyber attacks.
  • Apple, Visa, MasterCard, Comerica Bank and U.S.Bank are committed to working together to make Apple Pay, a tokenized,encrypted service, available for users of federal payment cards, includingDirectExpress and GSA SmartPay cards.

    Of course other areas of cyber security such as multi-factorauthentication were covered. While these tools are implemented often bycompanies outside the payments industry, they are important to protecting thesecurity of payments. The Summit had payments examples that applied here aswell.

    • American Express is announcing rollout of newmulti-factor authentication technologies for their consumers.
    • MasterCard, in partnership with First TechCredit Union, will announce that they will implement a new pilot later thisyear that will allow consumers to authenticate and verify their transactionsusing a combination of unique biometrics such as facial and voice recognition.

      Combating fraud and identity theft is a continual racebetween criminals and payments companies. While fighting crime is a continuousbalancing act between strong security and flexibility for transactions, newtechnologies can help maintain the balance for consumers.


      Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service, Mercator Advisory Group

      Read full White House Fact Sheet