Visa is preparing to launch an encryption service designed to help merchants, acquirers and processors protect cardholder data.
The card giant says it will launch its Visa Merchant Data Secure with Point-to-Point Encryption service early next year. The technology encrypts sensitive cardholder information within the merchants' and acquirers' systems. The data can only be accessed, or unscrambled, with decryption keys held securely by the acquirer, gateway or Visa.
Visa says it is already working with acquirers, processors and technology vendors to provide specifications for integrating its offering into payment terminals as well as into all critical systems across the processing industry.
The firm argues that its new service is "complementary" to EMV chip technology, providing an added layer of protection against the threat of data breaches, especially as the industry works to reach critical mass in the adoption of chip cards and terminals.
Darren Parslow, global head, processing, Visa, says: "With Visa's global processing reach and capabilities, we are able to provide an encryption solution that meets the needs of merchants and acquirers who want ease of implementation, flexibility, and effective protection. Working in concert, multiple layers of security including point-to-point encryption can help take merchants out of harm's way while mitigating fraud throughout the payment system."