MasterCard Rallies Merchants to Protect Consumer Data - reduces SecureCode rate; Free network scans

PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 11, 2006--Building on a 40-year commitment to security leadership, MasterCard International today launched a new groundbreaking program that provides incentives, tools and education to help merchants better safeguard consumer data. The initiative is the latest element in MasterCard's long-running, holistic approach to protecting the payments system and advancing security in commerce. "MasterCard understands that merchants are on the front lines of commerce. We're working collaboratively with merchants by providing them with practical content, tools and support to help protect their customers' data," said Chris Thom, Chief Risk Officer, MasterCard International. "This is a critical part of our strategy for ensuring security in the payments system." Making Security Tools Cost-Effective Primary among the components of the program is an initiative to implement global incentive pricing to make the MasterCard SecureCode(TM) program cost-effective for merchants. MasterCard SecureCode is an innovative security program that allows cardholders to enter a code known only to them and their card issuer when making purchases in the online environment. Part of MasterCard SecureCode is a simple and effective method of securely collecting and processing cardholder authentication data at the merchant website. SecureCode links a cardholder to a specific online transaction much in the same way that a cardholder's signature does during an in-store payment transaction. With MasterCard's global incentive pricing structure, online merchants that support MasterCard SecureCode will be eligible for lower rates comparable to those for face-to-face transactions - up to a 16 percent reduction. Free Global Network Vulnerability Scans To make it easier for merchants to understand, adopt and comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, MasterCard is also announcing the global availability of free network vulnerability scans for merchants. Scanning is one of the steps required for many merchants to achieve compliance with PCI. This offering by select companies will allow merchants to learn more about network vulnerabilities and how they can improve network security and achieve PCI compliance. Visitors to www.mastercardsecurity.com can find links to participating security companies such as AmbironTrustWave, Cybertrust, One-Sec, Qualys and SecurityMetrics. Focus on Education Another element of the program is an educational campaign that uses advertising, Web content and Webinars to inform merchants about important security issues and resources. Print advertisements appearing in trade media will offer information, guidelines and best practices to help merchants improve their security and promote industry collaboration on security measures. Complementing the ads is a new merchant Web site - www.mastercardsecurity.com - that will provide even more comprehensive security information. The site will feature detailed, up-to-date information about security resources available to merchants and others, serve as a venue for unveiling future innovations, and link merchants to the companies offering free PCI scans. A new Webinar series offers yet another way for MasterCard to bring expert advice to merchants. This easy to access series of online seminars will allow merchants from around the world to learn more about current and future trends, industry issues and best practices that they can implement to make their own operations more secure. About MasterCard International MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members' credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R) and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 105 countries and in 48 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to www.mastercardinternational.com. Contacts For MasterCard International Media: Dave Collett, 314-552-6720 dcollett@webershandwick.com