Visa Changes Retail Security Rules

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 07-22-2006
Visa on July 21 changed its retail security requirement structure, which will—because of a change in definition of what a qualifying transaction is—force more retailers to use its more stringent security procedures.

The core change includes all transactions when determining what level a retailer should be; Visa uses four levels to group retailers based on their volume of transactions.

The criteria was previously limited to online purchases. "The most significant modification involves the Level 2 merchant category, which previously only applied to merchants processing between 150,000 and 6 million Visa e-commerce transactions per year," a Visa statement said. "Level 2 has now been broadened to include all acceptance channels and applies to any merchant processing 1 million to 6 million Visa transactions per year."

Mark Rasch, a former federal prosecutor who now serves as vice president for Solutionary, a security software and consultancy firm, said that the actions of July 21 may not have an immediate impact on retailers, but they will certainly have a long-term impact as Visa uses this as the first step before cracking down with strict enforcement. As it is, retailers are notorious for not complying with Visa's guidelines and not doing enough audits and related checks.

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