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Visa prepares to launch encryption service to improve security
August 22, 2012 - 4:42pm
Visa is preparing to release a Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) Service in conjunction with its Visa Merchant Data Secure service to help protect merchants, acquirers and processors, according to Finextra.
P2PE technology encrypts sensitive cardholder information behind an extra layer of security to protect credit card data for both consumers and merchants. The data can only be accessed, or unscrambled, using decryption keys held by the acquirer, gateway or Visa. The process renders a more secure payment processing environment whereby access to sensitive information is highly restricted.
"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 for 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."
The credit card giant has stressed that its new service will be complementary to EMV chip technology, which is currently held as the standard for card security. As the widespread adoption of chip cards and point-of-sale terminals reaches a critical mass in the industry, according to Finextra, the added layers of protection are even more necessary.
As part of Visa's company- and industry-wide strategy for broader authentication, whereby the company seeks to enhance security in the payment industry by eliminating account data from the payment processing environment when possible, the P2PE system could reap huge benefits. The multi-zone encryption features provide merchants and consumers with added flexibility in deployment. Meanwhile, adoption of the new system was designed by Visa to cause minimal impact, allowing easy integration. Finally, a consistent open encryption standard provides a recognizable framework for managing keys and minimizing the impact of system updates.
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