Underscoring the shared responsibility of all card-accepting businesses to combat fraud, Visa USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today launched a nationwide data security campaign to encourage a more coordinated effort between the payments industry and merchants in the fight to protect customer data and reduce fraud.
"In today's world, we must face the challenges to ensure data security," said Dan Caprio, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy and Chief Privacy Officer at the Department of Commerce. "While the payments industry took an early lead in establishing sound data security requirements, we need to expand the dialogue to ensure that all parties are doing everything possible to safeguard consumer information."
Specifically, the two organizations announced that they will hold a series of nine joint seminars across the country to help businesses of all sizes understand current requirements for proper handling of customer data, reduce card-related fraud, and know where to go for additional information. The seminars will include representatives from Visa USA, the local Chamber of Commerce and Members of Congress.
"The only way we're going to stay ahead of tomorrow's fraud threats is if the payments industry and the merchant community work together, and that requires an open and ongoing dialogue," said Steve Ruwe, executive vice president, operations and risk management, Visa USA. "Just as merchants have a responsibility to meet our requirements for data security, Visa has a responsibility to listen to merchants and understand the challenges they face on the front lines. Our goal is to continue to work more closely with merchants on fighting fraud, and this campaign is one key way we will do that."
"There are a multitude of private sector efforts to prevent fraud and protect consumers," said Rolf Lundberg, Jr., senior vice president, congressional and public affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "The purpose of this joint data security campaign is to deliver valuable resources, and expert knowledge, to the business owners and managers right where they work, in their local communities."
The data security campaign includes a "four step approach" that businesses of all sizes can follow to achieve better data security for themselves and their customers. These steps are:
1. Know if your processing software or your processor is storing data, what kind of data and how it's being stored. If no data is stored electronically, be sure to protect sales draft receipts which may contain the account number.
2. Understand the law and payment industry requirements for protecting cardholder information; only do business with vendors that are compliant with the industry's security requirements.
3. Reduce fraud at the checkout line by learning how to stop skimming and looking for the important security features of the card.
4. Limit employee access to cardholder information.
"Given the importance of securing cardholder information, even asking the right questions about data storage can go a long way for a business," continued Ruwe. "Our data security campaign will give merchants the tools and information to reduce their fraud and the potential for being a victim of a data compromise. Over the years, Visa has developed many programs to help merchants manage and reduce fraud, and we look forward to working with local merchants on this initiative," he concluded.