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Visa Card Security Breach - Aus & NZ

CARD SECURITY BREACH
IMPACT ON AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Sydney 21 June 2005: Visa International (Australia and New Zealand) today released details of the local implications of a worldwide security breach.

In so doing, Visa reaffirmed:

- Banks have been monitoring the situation since the Christmas New Year period and have been progressively canceling accounts where there have been suspicious transactions and replacing them with new accounts.

- The issue is largely confined to transactions involving some merchants in the United States between September 2004 and June 2005 (either in person, via the Internet or over the phone).

- In almost all cases, cardholders carry no liability for fraudulent transactions.

- Not all impacted accounts are subject to fraudulent activity (see below).

- Cardholders will have been or will be contacted by their financial institution if there is a problem. Cardholders who transacted in the USA during the affected period, as a precaution, should check their statements and contact their bank if need be.

The extent of the breach is as follows:

- Australia: About 80,000 of the accounts affected were issued by banks in Australia, 97 percent of which did not have sensitive cardholder data compromised i.e. the full magnetic stripe data was not captured. However, even for the three percent remaining, a combination of fraud detection systems installed by Visa and its issuers means that there is no automatic link between accounts at risk and subsequent fraud.

- New Zealand: About 12,000 of the accounts affected were issued by banks in New Zealand, 94 percent of which did not have sensitive cardholder data compromised i.e. the full magnetic stripe data was not captured. However, even for the six percent remaining, a combination of fraud detection systems installed by Visa and its issuers means that there is no automatic link between accounts at risk and subsequent fraud.

General commentary

- The security breach is subject to a criminal investigation in the United States.

- It is important to note that although card accounts are compromised, fraud has rarely occurred on the stolen numbers. In fact, fraud within the global Visa system is at an all time low of just 7 cents out of every $100 transacted.

- In Asia Pacific, the fraud rate is at its historical lowest ¡V at 3 cents for every US$100 transacted.

- It is critical that cardholders ensure that their financial institution has up to date contact numbers so they can be contacted in the event of a suspected fraudulent transaction.

Visa International

Visa is the world's leading payment brand generating more than US$3 trillion in annual card sales volume. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in developing innovative payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce--the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

Visa in Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined with 62 percent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using VISA cards. There are currently more than 229 million VISA-branded cards in the region. Through September of this year, US$339 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using VISA cards. Visa Asia Pacific¡¦s Internet address is www.visa-asia.com.

ENDS

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