MasterCard and VeriSign Join Forces to Increase Security for Online Transactions

VeriSign’s Support Builds Momentum for MasterCard UCAF

PURCHASE, N.Y. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — MasterCard International and VeriSign, Inc., (Nasdaq: VRSN) the leading provider of digital trust services, today announced they are joining forces to increase online transaction security for merchants accepting a MasterCard payment transaction. The joint effort is part of MasterCard’s overall e-commerce strategy to increase the security of online payment transactions and part of VeriSign’s Trusted Commerce program, which aims to increase overall online security.

Under the agreement between the companies, VeriSign plans to implement and offer access to MasterCard’s Universal Cardholder Authentication Field (UCAF(TM)) program to up to 75,000 merchants, to further secure transactions for merchants who choose to take advantage of UCAF. VeriSign processes approximately 25 percent of all online transactions in the U.S., according to VeriSign and industry reports. UCAF is a data transport mechanism created by MasterCard that provides explicit evidence that a cardholder originated a transaction. Merchants who use UCAF can be confident that their transactions will be secured, thereby minimizing their liability to MasterCard for fraud. Working with VeriSign, the largest payment gateway, MasterCard expects a great increase in the merchant adoption of UCAF.

“Equipping VeriSign’s extensive online merchant base with the UCAF infrastructure will be a major step forward in building MasterCard’s global momentum for guaranteed payments,” said Steve W. Orfei, senior vice president, e-Commerce and eB2B Center of Excellence, MasterCard International. “By working with powerful technology alliance partners such as VeriSign, MasterCard is empowering merchants with the tools to maximize their own profitability, while providing consumers with greater security.”

Payment card companies have a long-standing policy of “zero liability” for consumers who report fraud incidents in a timely manner. However, merchants are often left paying charge-back fees. VeriSign merchants will benefit from upcoming MasterCard rule changes that shift liability for fraudulent transactions not authorized by the cardholder away from the online merchant and its acquirer when UCAF has been utilized. Historically, if an online merchant shipped goods for a transaction that turned out to be fraudulent due to the cardholder claiming he or she did not authorize the transaction, the merchant ultimately bore the costs. Now, online merchants will benefit from a payment guarantee that is equivalent to a signed sales receipt in the physical world when participating issuers authenticate their cardholders and authorize the transaction.

According to a recent study by Gartner, Inc., 18 percent of Web merchants surveyed say that a lack of customer authentication is their biggest concern with online payment systems.

“Lowering charge-back and fraud risks for merchants using the VeriSign payment gateway helps everyone win — our merchants, their customers and the financial institutions,” said Barry McCarthy, vice president and general manager of VeriSign Payment Services. “By providing MasterCard’s UCAF functionality to merchants using VeriSign, consumers and the merchant can transact online with more confidence. We’ve got the tools and we’re arming merchants and consumers against those who would steal payment cards and perpetrate fraud.”

The VeriSign Payment Services (VPS) gateway provides the virtual equivalent of a card swipe terminal. VeriSign offers a highly reliable, secure, and cost effective means for merchants of any size to accept most forms of payment online. Supporting a leading initiative like MasterCard’s UCAF, further enhances VeriSign’s efforts to secure online transactions. In addition, both MasterCard and VeriSign promote industry standards, security enhancements, and best practices for merchants and consumers.

How UCAF Authenticates

Merchants who use UCAF will know that a customer paying with his or her MasterCard card has expressed authorization to use that card. UCAF offers a universal and interoperable method of collecting cardholder authentication data at a merchant’s virtual point-of-sale. UCAF then transports authentication data to all parties involved in an online transaction.

MasterCard’s UCAF supports a broad spectrum of issuer security solutions, providing issuers with the flexibility to choose how to best authenticate their cardholders. Whether an issuer has deployed MasterCard’s PC-based authentication program, Chip Authentication Program, or another authentication scheme, MasterCard’s UCAF infrastructure allows the data to be transported between participating merchants, acquirers and issuers through a series of hidden fields.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International is a leader in global e-business. The association is focused on providing its member financial institutions with customized, meaningful global e-business solutions that connect them to their accountholders. Through its investment in industry innovation, participation in standards development and business alliances, MasterCard is staying in the forefront of technology integration to enable anytime, anywhere payments across multiple channels and various devices. MasterCard’s global e-business solutions include Internet security, smart cards, mobile commerce/wireless, business to business electronic commerce, and numerous emerging technologies.

MasterCard International has a comprehensive portfolio of well-known, widely accepted payment brands including MasterCard(R), Cirrus(R) and Maestro(R). More than 1.7 billion MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro logos are present on credit, charge and debit cards in circulation today. A corporation with more than 15,000 member financial institutions, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses, both large and small, in 210 countries and territories. MasterCard is a leader in quality and innovation, offering a wide range of payment solutions in the virtual and traditional worlds. MasterCard’s award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 90 countries and in 45 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. With more than 28 million acceptance locations, no payment card is more widely accepted globally than MasterCard. For the six months ended June 30, 2002, gross dollar volume exceeded US$534 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its website at .

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of digital trust services that enable everyone, everywhere to engage in commerce and communications with confidence. VeriSign’s digital trust services create a trusted environment through four core offerings-Web presence services, security services, payment services, and telecommunications services-powered by a global infrastructure that manages more than seven billion network connections and transactions a day.

VeriSign Payment Services offers a payment solution for every merchant under the PayFlow Pro and PayFlo Link brands. Additional news and information about PayFlow products and other company information is available at

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information, including but not limited to, statements regarding benefits of VeriSign’s restructuring and new service offerings, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign’s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, VeriSign’s limited operating history under its current business structure, the risk that businesses of previously-acquired companies as well as other businesses will not be integrated successfully and unanticipated costs of such integration; uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results; the ability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new services and customer acceptance of any new services; the risk that VeriSign’s announced strategic relationships may not result in additional products, services, customers and revenues; increased competition and pricing pressures; risk that the company may not be able to achieve anticipated cost savings from the restructuring; and risks related to potential security breaches. More information about potential factors that could affect the company’s business and financial results is included in VeriSign’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

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