Rabat – With a rise in credit card usage, Morocco must act quickly to protect user information.
After relying on tried-and-true cash for decades, Morocco is quickly leaping towards forms of electronic payment. After an initially low rate of card usage, Morocco’s Centre Monetique Interbancaire reported that the number of credit card transactions made in Morocco increased by 85% in the first half of 2017. With a drastic increase in credit card usage comes a rising need for payment security. That’s where SISA comes in.
SISA Information Security is a payment security specialist firm started in 2003, that later started specializing in payment security to create a secure payment infrastructure for those using cards in-country.
Nitin Bhatnagar, Associate VP of Business, says that SISA has been assessing for the PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council) since 2007. According to Bhatnagar, payment security has become much more standardized and trusted than it has been in the past. “PCI standards are very effective in reducing breaches if we understand the intent behind each requirement and implement them smoothly,” Bhatnagar says. “It helps organizations avoid data breaches.”
The VP is pleased with Morocco’s progress in making the program more widespread. “We have seen companies be diligent and proactive and sign up for a security partner to protect customer information,” says Bhatnager. “Considering the different kinds of payments industries are witnessing or will be witnessing in the future is just as important now as reviewing and securing IT systems.”
While companies are taking progressive steps towards safe electronic transactions, Bhatnager is concerned about attempts to cut corners. “That’s a matter of concern,” he says. “For smart phones, finger prints are a primary way to authenticate a purchase. This is fraught with risks, and we have to tackle it.”
Bhatnager went on to state that security does not only involve compliance. “As an industry, we should admit that we have missed the importance of information security and have started focusing on compliance with standards and cutting costs.” That’s why the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard aims to create additional levels of protection for card issuers while storing, processing, and transmitting cardholder data.
As far as credit card usage in the future goes, Bhatnager says, “We urge the regulators in Morocco to make payment security standards mandatory for all banks and payment organizations.” According to SISA, this may be the only way to fully ensure information protection.