Visa Challenges Industries to Use More Intelligent Solutions to Combat Fraud, Stay Ahead of Criminals

April 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM EDT
Visa Security Summit Focuses on Success in Reducing Fraud and Need for Ongoing Investment to Maintain Momentum

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) opened its fourth Global Security Summit today with a keynote address by chief enterprise risk officer Ellen Richey, in which she applauded the collective progress in making electronic payments more secure from criminals. While acknowledging this important success - achieved through closer industry cooperation, coordination with law enforcement and technological advancements - Richey also warned of future challenges that will require all stakeholders to more rapidly adopt "smarter" technologies and better application of risk-management intelligence.

"Visa's global fraud rate recently hit a historic low - at just over 5 cents for every $100 transacted, down more than two-thirds from the levels of 20 years ago, and more than 99 percent of large merchants have confirmed they do not store sensitive cardholder data," Richey told an audience of more than 500 business, government, academic and law enforcement officials from around the world. "Today, payment card data is more secure; data compromises, when they do occur, are better managed; and technology advancements have aided in preventing fraud."

But despite progress, Richey highlighted several challenges ahead, including persistent and negative consumer perceptions about data security. According to a recent Visa survey in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, consumers rank identity theft and counterfeiting as top concerns when using credit cards, ahead of debt accumulation. Richey said 61 percent of consumers believe criminals are ahead of the payment industry when it comes to fraud.

To combat both real and perceived threats, Richey challenged Security Summit attendees to broaden their use of "smarter" strategies that are proven to be effective at reducing fraud. She outlined a three-pronged approach for the industry to follow in the future, including:


  • Expanding investments in, and use of, smart devices, such as EMV chip cards;
  • Making networks smarter; making better use of the information available today;
  • Adopting smarter cardholder authentication methods, such as two-factor authentication.


The event will also include a panel session that explores the impact of recent legislation proposed by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), which Richey says "has the potential to chill investment in security or even undermine today's consumer protections."

The effectiveness of cross-industry collaboration in stemming the tide will be tested by a live data breach simulation moderated during the Summit by former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael V. Hayden. The exercise will offer a glimpse into how merchants, law enforcement, financial institutions, government and other parties respond to data compromises in order to protect consumer information and stem financial losses.

Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and founder of The Chertoff Group, will provide a keynote address to the Summit audience. He is expected to call on the private and public sectors to coordinate in the fight against cybercrimes and to continue to make security investments a priority.

Following her keynote remarks, Richey presented the inaugural Visa Leadership in Security Awards. The first award honored the accomplishments of former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor Kim Peretti for her efforts in securing a historic 20-year prison sentence for Albert Gonzalez, the notorious cybercriminal behind the world's largest card compromises. Also honored was the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) in recognition of its efforts to promote computer security curricula. University of Washington student Alexei Czeskis, who was captain of the cyber team that won the NCCDC's 2011 competition, accepted the award on behalf of NCCDC.

Visa's fourth Global Security Summit was convened to discuss how payments system participants can collaborate to protect cardholders against current and emerging security threats. Five panels were assembled to cover timely topics relevant to securing payments. Panels included: the rise and fall of criminal mastermind Albert Gonzalez; managing eCommerce fraud challenges; the impact of the Durbin Amendment on security innovation; EMV chip and dynamic authentication; and securing the future of mobile commerce.

A live webcast of the Summit can be viewed today at Recorded video will be available later this afternoon.

About Visa Inc.: Visa Inc. is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

SOURCE Visa Inc.