SA banks, retailers prepare for global security standards

Friday, 8 August 2003, 8:28 AM EST

SA banks and retailers have stepped up their efforts to meet the mandated Visa and MasterCard deadline for the security of their PIN-handling systems to comply with the global Triple DES (T-DES) algorithm standard.

In fact, JSE-listed secure electronic payments company, Prism Holdings, has supplied over R4 million worth of secure application modules (SAMs) to the financial and retail industries over the past eight months.

These SAMs - chipcards that can be programmed with a security application - are being used to upgrade the security levels of older POS devices, saving banks and retailers the expense of having to replace them.

According to Gerhard Claassen, Managing Director of Prism's Crypto Business Unit, Visa and MasterCard have stated that by 2004, all new PIN-handling systems - such as POS devices - must be T-DES compliant while existing devices have to be upgraded.

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