VISA CEO Proposes Private Security Agency

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Visa CEO John Coghlan proposed creating a private agency that would develop security standards for the credit card industry and certify that financial institutions and merchants have met the guidelines.

"We're exploring a plan to encourage all stakeholders in the payment chain to help create an objective, stand-alone entity to manage data security issues for the entire industry," said Coghlan, speaking to the credit card association's Data Security Conference, which brought together representatives from banks, credit unions, payment processors and congressional representatives.

The proposal comes as Congress is debating several measures aimed at tightening security standards in the face of growing incidents of online security breaches.

Under Coghlan's idea, the industry-backed standard-setting agency would offer 'best practice' certification for merchants and financial institutions that followed accepted security guidelines.

Under current rules, there is no single accepted standard for security between card issuers, payment processors and merchants, but a number of guidelines that have been agreed upon by the biggest players, like Visa, MasterCard and other card companies.

Credit Union Journal Washington Bureau Chief Ed Roberts can be reached at eroberts cujournal.com.

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