Visa Head Proposes SecurityAgency

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WASHINGTON - (10/07/05) -- Visa USA President and CEO JohnCoghlan proposed creating a private agency that would developsecurity standards for the credit card industry and certify thatfinancial institutions and merchants have met the guidelines."We're exploring a plan to encourage all stakeholders in thepayment chain to help create an objective, stand-alone entity tomanage data security issues for the entire industry," said Coghlan,speaking Wednesday to the credit card association's Data SecurityConference, which brought together representatives from banks,credit unions, payment processors and congressionalrepresentatives. The proposal comes as Congress is debating severalmeasures aimed at tightening security standards in the face ofgrowing incidents of online security breaches. Under Coghlan'sidea, the industry-backed standard-setting agency would offer 'bestpractice' certification for merchants and financial institutionsthat followed accepted security guidelines. Under current rules,there is no single accepted standard for security between cardissuers, payment processors and merchants, but a number ofguidelines that have been agreed upon by the biggest players, likeVisa, MasterCard and other card companies.

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