Visa, MasterCard to Roll Out New Cyber Security Features


Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. have unveiled plans to ramp up cybersecurity features for online transactions, amid growing concerns over credit-card theft.

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The plans come after a slew of recent high-profile data breaches, including those to hit Target Corp., Home Depot Inc., and, most recently, health insurer Anthem Inc.

MasterCard, which plans to spend more than $20 million on the efforts, intends to roll out a pilot program later this year that will use a combination of biometrics, such as facial and voice recognition and fingerprint matching, to authenticate and verify transactions.

The company said it would also launch a new product, MasterCard Safety Net, in the U.S. this spring to add an independent layer of security to monitor and block specific transactions based on selected criteria.

Visa, meanwhile, said it would expand Visa Token Service, a feature launched last fall that replaces the traditional 16-digit Visa account number found on cards with a unique series of numbers to protect account details.

Visa said more than 500 financial institutions have begun to implement the service.