MasterCard is lowering charges for merchants that use its SecureCode online authentication service and is also offering free network vulnerability scans under a new customer data security programme.
MasterCard says the incentives are being introduced to help merchants better safeguard consumer data.
Under the programme, merchants that support the SecureCode service - which requires cardholders making online purchases to verify their identity with a password - will be eligible for lower rates than those that don't support the system.
Mastercard says it will also provide merchants with free network vulnerability scans to make it easier for them to understand, adopt and comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards.
Scanning is one of the steps required for many merchants to achieve compliance with PCI and the service will be provided by selected security companies such as One-Sec, AmbironTrustWave, Cybertrust, Qualys and SecurityMetrics. The scans allow merchants to learn more about network vulnerabilities and how they can improve network security and achieve PCI compliance.
Chris Thom, chief risk officer, MasterCard International, says: "Merchants are on the frontline of commerce. We're working collaboratively with merchants by providing them with practical content, tools and support to help them protect their customers' data."
The company is also launching an educational campaign that uses advertising, Web content and webinars to inform merchants about important security issues and resources.
Print advertisements appearing in trade media will offer information, guidelines and best practices to help merchants and processors improve security and promote industry collaboration on security measures.