WASHINGTON (3/11/14)--The Credit Union National Association and credit unions are part of a new, cross-industry effort to improve payment security systems. Formed by MasterCard and Visa, the group will focus on enhancing payment system security to keep pace with the expectations of consumers, retailers and financial institutions, MasterCard said in an announcement.
"One of the critical roles we play is to protect consumers and businesses against criminals and fraudsters...Only through industry collaboration and cooperation will we address the real and immediate issue of security and maintain consumer confidence and trust," said Chris McWilton, MasterCard president of North American markets.
The group initially will focus on Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) standards and also will discuss tokenization, point-to-point encryption and other security systems.
Along with CUNA and credit unions, MasterCard and VISA, the groups will be comprised of representatives of large and small banks, acquirers, retailers, point-of-sale device manufacturers and other trade groups.
The group's conversations "will serve as a useful forum to share ideas, break down barriers and spur the adoption of next generation security solutions for the benefit of all," Visa President Ryan McInerney in the announcement. "No one industry or technology can solve the issue of payment system fraud on its own," he added.
CUNA welcomes the discussion, pursuit and deployment of new payment system technology, but is skeptical that a solution to merchant data breaches can be achieved without first requiring all participants to follow similar data security standards. Merchants must also be held accountable for the damages that breaches to their systems cause financial institutions and consumers.
CUNA has repeatedly encouraged members of the U.S. Congress to address inconsistent rules that require credit unions and other financial institutions to follow high security standards while exempting merchants. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney has also called on the House Financial Services Committee to hold hearings on the last year's Target data security breach, and to call on credit union witnesses for such hearings.