Visa wants merchants to comply with standards

Kiwi online fraud is at an all-time low, but this may not last if New Zealand merchants don't upgrade

New research from Visa International has found that even though 66% of New Zealand merchants are concerned about protecting cardholder data, only a third are complying with the international standard for payment security — the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.

According to Visa’s research, only 57% of local merchants are aware of the standard.

In July, Iain Jamieson, Visa’s New Zealand country manager, told Computerworld that Visa, in collaboration with the banks, needs to interact at a much lower level with local merchants, to ensure they understand the requirements for protecting their customers.

Over the next two months Visa will undertake an advertising campaign aimed at local merchants. The campaign will show them how to adopt the PCI Data Security Standard and will also emphasise the benefits of compliance, says Jamieson.

The company will hold summits in Auckland and Wellington at the end of October.

According to earlier Visa research, fraud in New Zealand and Australia is currently at an all time low. Only 0.03% of Visa sales are lost through fraud. Online fraud in both countries has halved in the last five years, mainly thanks to investments banks and financial institutions have made in advanced technology to prevent fraud, says Jamieson.

However, New Zealand could be at risk if it continues to lag behind on card security. As other countries start to move to the new EMV-standard chip, fraudsters are going to look for places that are easier to attack. “And, at the moment, we don’t have the chip card standard”, he says.

Jamieson thinks that banks in New Zealand will start moving towards the EMV-standard in the next 12 months.

Visa’s research shows that the main concern among consumers in New Zealand, and worldwide, is theft or loss of personal or financial information.

This concern ranks ahead of concerns about terrorism, pandemics and natural disasters.