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Visa, MasterCard To Introduce New Security Features To Fight Fraudulent Transactions

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Credit card companies Visa and MasterCard have announced a slew of security measures to combat the growing menace of fraudulent transactions. In the coming months, these two companies are planning to introduce several new cutting-edge features, including tokenization and biometric authentication, to validate and verify transactions. While these companies announced these measures independently, the announcements almost coincided with the first ever cybersecurity summit that was attended by President Barack Obama and representatives from top Silicon Valley companies.

Visa is promising to offer secure payments across many platforms, devices and apps starting from 2015. The company’s CEO Charlie Scharf said that it is deploying a range of smart technologies that would offer innovative ways to pay and at the same time prevent fraudulent transactions and maintain consumer trust in digital transactions. Visa said that it would roll out its tokenization service, nicknamed Visa Token Service, for many more devices and merchants in the coming months. The Visa Token Service replaces users’ credit card numbers with a random series of numbers (that can be used only once) to validate card owner’s identity. The service was rolled out for Apple devices last year and it allows iPhone and iPad owners to complete their purchases by simply waving their device in front of a wireless reader and authenticating their transactions with their fingerprint.

Visa Token Service is really secure since it doesn’t contain any sensitive information that criminals can steal and use it at a later date. Charlie reaffirmed his faith in the tokenization service and called it one of the most promising and innovative technologies that the payment processing industry has seen in decades. The company also said that it is planning to introduce tokenization for mobile payment systems and online transactions through its Visa Checkout Service. The company has already secured deals with a lot of device manufacturers, tech companies and retailers (including GAP and Orbitz Worldwide) as a part of rolling out the feature for mobile and e-commerce platforms.

MasterCard, on the other hand, has pledged 20 million dollars for a new program that will use biometric verification, including facial and voice recognition as well as fingerprint matching; to verify card owner’s identity and authenticate transactions. The company said that it will run the pilot program of the security feature later this year in association with First Tech Federal Credit Union. The company also announced that it is going to launch a multi-tier threat assessment program (dubbed as Safety Net) very shortly. The program is designed to spot online attacks and fake transactions even before card issuers and payment processors become aware of them. The company also said that it is in the midst of issuing chip based cards to all its credit card customers.

The announcements from MasterCard and Visa indicate that financial institutions are finally gearing up to fight the menace of fraudulent transactions. The announcements from these two companies could not have come at a better time since President Obama has already signed an executive order to improve the security of credit card transactions (read more about it here – https://vpncoupons.com/article/president-obama-signs-executive-order-improve-credit-card-security/). While both Visa and MasterCard have decided to move towards chip based credit cards some time back, the newly announced features should make online and mobile transactions secure as well.

July 20, 2015

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