Diplomacy, MasterCard-Style

Written by Evan Schuman
October 25th, 2007

MasterCard Statement on claims made by the NRF

MasterCard is aware of claims made by the National Retail Federation stating that MasterCard requires merchants to retain sensitive transaction data. These claims are inaccurate and unjustified. MasterCard has no rule or other requirement that a merchant retain any transaction data.

It has always been the case that merchants may choose to store certain cardholder data elements to protect merchant and consumer interests if a situation occurs which requires proof of the transaction after the fact. In the event that a merchant chooses to store the primary account number (PAN) to resolve issues arising after a purchase is completed, the account number may be stored in a truncated format which minimizes risk. In addition, a merchant may choose to store no cardholder data at all based on their own risk assessments and individual approaches to managing data storage according to their own business needs.

The PCI Standard is very clear about the types of sensitive authentication data that must not be stored under any circumstances and the types of data which can be stored and must be protected. Merchants who choose to store appropriate cardholder data must do so in accordance with the PCI Standard.

MasterCard has been a trailblazer in aggressively pursuing rules, best practices and other opportunities to ensure that account and transaction data is safeguarded. MasterCard was instrumental in the formation of the PCI Security Standards Council and continues its efforts to persuade all participants in retail transactions – banks, cardholders, merchants, processors and other service providers – to work together and do their part. MasterCard believes it takes collective and constant effort to achieve a secure environment. For that reason we remain ready to discuss data security with all entities interested in creating a more secure payment environment.


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