Visa launches new payment card security initiative

On Wednesday, Visa Inc. launched a new payment card security initiative that the company said could eliminate the need for retailers and other organizations to store full, 16-digit credit and debit card numbers on their systems.

The move comes in response to long-standing pressure from the National Retail Federation, which maintains that merchants should not be required to store the information because of security risks.

Under the new initiative, Visa said it will push card issuers and acquiring banks to allow merchants to present truncated, disguised or otherwise masked card numbers for dispute resolution cases. Some permit this already, but the goal is to make the practice broader, said Eduardo Perez, head of global payment system security at Visa.

Visa said it plans to seek feedback from industry stakeholders on the challenges and issues involved in moving to a more secure payment industry model. After Visa reviews the feedback, it will decide whether to make the recommendations a mandated requirement.