Data breach of Visa and Mastercard details

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Visa service provider reports that the information of 1.5 million people may have been obtained by hackers

One of the service providers that processes transactions for Visa and Mastercard has reported a data breach that may have exposed the details of more than 1.5 million users.

The company – Global Payments Inc. – had its shares halted last week when it emerged that thieves could be in possession of information that potentially leaves cardholders exposed to financial loss.

However, customers may be reassured by the news that the episode appears to be under control, with no further loss of records expected.

"Based on the forensic analysis to date, network monitoring and additional security measures, the company believes that this incident is contained," said a statement from Global Payments.

Visa removed the payment processor from its list of approved service providers following the breach, but the company expects to be reinstated "once we have been issued a new report of compliance", said spokeswoman Amy Corn.

The safety and protection of online transactions has become increasingly important in recent years as businesses and consumers have continued to take advantage of the processes that the internet makes possible.

Whether transferring funds to a family member or making an online purchase, banks and customers need to guarantee the safety of their details to build trust and prevent fraud.

As such, adequate data protection is one of the key components of internet banking relied upon by consumers and companies alike, and it is the way in which Global Payments’ system did not properly safeguard their records that has led to its being removed from Visa’s approved providers list.

Indeed, the breach could be expected to have an impact on the company’s reputation as people take note of the incident and consider the future potential for their details to face further exposure to fraudsters.

Yet Global Payments will be hoping to make a quick recovery in order to limit any long term damage.

"We continue to process transactions for our merchants and our customers with the same efficiency and care they have come to expect," Ms Corn added.

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