The theft of a personal computer with several hundred thousand credit card accounts stored in its memory has led MasterCard to suggest the security procedures of rival Visa are inadequate.

The computer, stolen from Visa's San Mateo, Calif., data processing center early this month, contained information transmitted from point of sale machines for 314,000 active credit card accounts - from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Citicorp's Diners Club.

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