Mastercard has become the latest major card network to suffer a high profile crash. With its Thursday incident coming hard on the heels of Visa’s crash last month many experts wonder if blockchain technology could prevent future card network outages.
Hotels have elaborate systems to capture lodging fees and other purchases charged to rooms, but when customers book special events such as weddings or conferences, payment security can be more of a problem.
In the past few years of fighting against cyberattacks, security teams have developed "kill chain" models that document what steps the bad guys take to infiltrate a network and how to thwart them. The problem is, a significant number of data breaches occur from insider threats, which these models often overlook.
Visa, which was criticized for its vague explanation of a June 1 outage in Europe, was in the process of installing better technology, but the project was not complete at the time of the incident and won't be finished until the end of this year.
Visa's management faces an unwelcome choice: It can share more information about internal shortcomings or mistakes that caused payments to shut off temporarily, or get summoned to Parliament for a politically-infused public questioning.
Merchants, banks, fintechs and card networks may crave digital payments' treasure trove of data over cash's simple anonymity, but any weakness in a centralized ecosystem threatens the entire network, as Visa learned late last week.
It's too soon to tell whether a new button would replace Visa Checkout and Masterpass as brands. It's also unclear why consumers would choose another new payment option over the many options available today — such as PayPal.