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Visa Asia Pacific CEO says Security Vigilance is Vital

Travel News Asia Thursday, 5 July 2007

Visa International Asia Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Keeley said that while fraud for Visa in Asia Pacific has fallen to an historical low, there was no room for complacency as the payment business was always going to remain attractive to the criminally-minded.

While fraud levels in the Asia Pacific are at an all-time low, it is incumbent on all players in the payment industry to continue to focus on protecting cardholders data, Keeley told more than 250  delegates from member financial institutions, merchants, law enforcement agencies and vendors at the annual Visa Asia Pacific Risk Management Conference in Singapore.

Since 2001, Visa has been working with the industry to roll out secure EMV1 chip technology across the region. EMV chip cards, also known as smart cards, feature microchip technology which provides greater security for cardholders and merchants.

Peter Maher, Visa Internationals executive vice president and general manager for Risk Management, Asia Pacific added, The success of Visas EMV chip program can be seen in the lower rates of counterfeit fraud across Asia Pacific. However as industry players get to grips with counterfeit fraud, we need to remain vigilant against the new ways in which fraudsters are seeking to operate.

This need is particularly pressing for online transactions where volumes continue to grow as consumers become more comfortable with online purchases. Our challenge is to make people feel as secure paying in the virtual world as they do in the physical world, Maher added.

Visa has developed programs that help merchants and payment processors improve their data security measures. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS), which maintains the security and confidentiality of sensitive cardholder account and transaction data, is a requirement for all entities that process, transmit or store Visa cardholder account and transaction data.

To ensure the security of online transactions, Visa has implemented Verified by Visa, an authentication service in which registered cardholders are required to identify themselves through passwords during the online checkout process. Encryption technology is used to shield sensitive cardholder information from unauthorized viewers. As at the end of March 2007, some 66 million Visa cardholders and 83,000 merchants were enrolled in the Verified by Visa program in Asia Pacific.

Additionally, Visa works closely with industry partners and law enforcement agencies to minimize the risk of cardholders falling prey to scams such as phishing and spoofing, in which emails and fake websites are used to trick consumers into submitting personal, financial or password data.

The two-day Visa Asia Pacific Risk Management Conference included best practice case studies from Korean Exchange Bank, HSBC, ICICI Bank and the Queensland Police Force (Australia) on activities they have undertaken to tackle fraud resulting from non face-to-face transactions. The conference also focused on market case studies from China and India, and provided insight into improving data security standards.

See other recent news regarding: Visa, Security, Fraud, Credit Cards, Identity Theft

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