Mastercard to Initiate SET Policy for Merchants

MasterCard International Inc. today announced a new policy for merchants and financial institutions that use the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) payment protocol as the way to track credit card payments over the Internet.

MasterCard International Inc. today announced a new policy for merchants and financial institutions that use the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) payment protocol as the way to track credit card payments over the Internet.

The new policy will allow merchants to process transactions in a SET-compliant mode, provided they have a valid SET-consumer certificate from a financial institution and a properly authorized transaction. It will go into effect April 1.

Consumers who use a SET-enabled wallet with MasterCard will be able to authenticate purchases from a valid merchant Web site, the company said in a statement. The online merchant will receive an encrypted electronic message that an order has been made. This message will include digital identification to verify whether the consumer is a MasterCard holder.

If there is a dispute about the purchase, merchants will have a transaction history that includes authentication and documentation, as well as a digital certificate verifying that the purchase was made by a valid card holder, MasterCard said.

One of the biggest problems for merchants occurs when a consumer refutes a purchase, a practice that accounts for more than half of all chargebacks, according to MasterCard. With this new policy, merchants will be able to use digital certificates to prove that a transaction took place.

The SET protocol helps to secure online credit card payments by encrypting card-holder information and properly identifying the information between the card holder and the merchant. MasterCard has almost 70 SET pilot programs in 32 countries, and 23 of these pilots are operational.

MasterCard, in Purchase, New York, can be reached at http://www.mastercard.com/.

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