Global Payments, a payment processing firm, had a data breach in which 1.5 million credit and debit card numbers were compromised.
While the credit and debit card numbers may have bee compromised, the company said that cardholder names, addresses and Social Security numbers were not obtained. Visa and MasterCard (NYSE:MA) say their own systems weren’t compromised.
Global Payments didn’t mention which credit card companies were affected by the breach, but Visa put out a statement on Friday saying they were one of them.
Visa (NYSE:V) released a statement saying, “Visa Inc. is aware of a potential data compromise incident at a third party entity affecting card account information from all major card brands.”
Recently, Visa has dropped the card processing company from its registry of providers. Global Payments CEO Paul Garcia said, “The company continues to process Visa transactions, but that being dropped from the registry could give our partners some pause that they’re doing business with someone who experienced a breach.”
Global Payments said, “It is crucial to understand that this incident does not involve our merchants or their relationships with their customers.”
So how does this affect you as a credit card holder? When you swipe your credit card, the data is sent to a payment processor like Global Payments, which then forwards the transaction information to card companies like Visa and MasterCard.
When a data breach situation happens, credit card companies will offer customers fraud monitoring services at no cost. Any fraudulent charges that happen during that time, the credit card company is responsible for those costs.
Having 1.5 million credit and debit card holders affected is just a small fraction of the estimated 1 billion debit and credit cards in circulation in the U.S.