MasterCard introduces PCI merchant education programme

Source: MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide today announced a new PCI Merchant Education Program, an initiative offered to acquiring bank customers that provides practical assistance in educating merchants and encouraging broader adoption of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The new program offers complimentary education and training for acquiring banks and merchants to better their understanding of PCI DSS through interactive sessions. Eight Web-based modules featuring actionable advice from MasterCard and industry experts are now available online at.

The PCI DSS sets forth requirements for enhancing payment account data security. The standard, which was developed by MasterCard and the other founding payment brands that comprise the PCI Security Standards Council, is intended to help companies protect payment account data. The multifaceted security standard includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other critical protective measures.

"Educating merchants and encouraging broader adoption of the PCI Data Security Standard is essential to ensuring the integrity of payment data," said Joshua Peirez, Chief Payment System Integrity Officer, MasterCard Worldwide. "This new program is the latest component in our collaborative efforts to help protect our customers from data theft and fraud and help facilitate the global implementation of consistent data security measures."

The new PCI Merchant Education Program is adaptable and delivered through various channels based on the needs of the individual acquiring member and their merchant population. MasterCard has developed a series of customizable, interactive modules and will work with financial institutions to develop training sessions and materials tailored to their merchants.

The education program offers several training options including:
  • On-Site (OS) - In-person training for acquiring bank members at designated locations. This option provides the best opportunity for high-contact interaction.
  • Live Web Meeting (LM) - Real-time online interface and teleconference. This option is ideal for presenting one to three modules and may be followed by Q&A sessions.
  • On-Demand Webinar Series (WS) - Pre-recorded content available through an online interface. This option can be viewed as the merchant's schedule allows. MasterCard or other industry security professionals deliver these sessions.

Webinar modules include:
  • An Introduction to the PCI Security Standards Council
  • A Detailed Look at PCI DSS Requirements
  • A Merchant's Journey Towards Compliance
  • Understanding Account Data Compromise
  • Preparing for a Successful PCI Assessment, Lessons from the Field
  • Reducing Your Risk: A Look into PCI Vulnerability Scanning
  • Security and the Payments System
  • Compliance Validation & Beyond

MasterCard offers additional incentives to help drive compliance and reward merchants that achieve and maintain it. MasterCard offers a safe harbor for merchants and service providers who are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, exempting them from fines and other costs if cardholder data is compromised as a result of a breach of their systems. MasterCard also currently offers several global promotions in partnership with certified security vendors. The promotions are designed to give merchants access to free network scans, enabling them to identify potential gaps in their network security that may expose payment card data to the risk of compromise.

In addition to the PCI Merchant Education Program, the MasterCard Academy of Risk Management (ARM) offers a full curriculum of online seminars, global conferences, educational materials and other tools to help secure the payments system and promote secure commerce worldwide. More information on the PCI Merchant Education Program and other ongoing MasterCard security initiatives can be found online, or merchants may contact their MasterCard SDP representative.

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