Global Payments, Inc. (NYSE: GPN) appears to be at the heart of a massive data breach that early reports say could have comprised as many as 10 million credit cards. The details of the breach are slim as the news broke early this morning; however, VISA and MasterCard are reporting that the breach happened within a vendor and not within their own systems.
Upon the announcement Global’s share price plummeted 10% within a few minutes and trading was halted on the company’s stock. Global is expected to make an official announcement later this afternoon. Heartland Payment Systems, First Data, Verifone and WorldPay have denied any responsibility. As some may recall, Heartland Payment Systems suffered a similar breach in 2008 that compromised the security of 130 million card records.
Merchant’s are encouraged to follow this breach closely as new laws created in some 46 states after the Heartland breach may require businesses to notify customers whose accounts have been compromised. Early reports say that the breach appears to have targeted mostly commercial credit card and debit card accounts. Merchants who are aware of which accounts have been breached must notify the customers or face fines if not done in a timely manner. Questions regarding notification policies should be directed to your merchant account provider.
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