MasterCard and Netscape to Offer Secure Transaction Processing For Purchases on the Internet

A mid-1995 delivery date will make MasterCard the first to effect secure credit and debit card transactions over the Internet

NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 1995 -- MasterCard International Incorporated, a global payments company with more than 360 million credit and debit cards issued, and Netscape Communications Corporation, a premier provider of open software for the Internet, have announced an agreement in principal to bring transaction processing capabilities for electronic commerce via the Internet to millions of MasterCard cardholders. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will develop the interface for authorizing and clearing transactions on credit and debit cards in a secure environment on the Internet. MasterCard anticipates that its interface will be operational by mid-1995, making it the first time that MasterCard members can enable their customers and merchants to facilitate secure bankcard transactions over the Internet.
"The popularity of the Internet is a prime example of how technology is moving transactions from the traditional point of sale to wherever the customer is -- or what we call the point of interaction," said MasterCard Senior Vice President Edward J. Hogan. "In this new environment, our objective is to ensure that every transaction, no matter what type it is and no matter where it occurs, is processed quickly, securely and reliably. With this agreement, we will leverage Netscape's experience in providing secure Internet-based software solutions with our own expertise in processing financial transactions to offer expanded ways to pay that are fast, safe and convenient, and that support our objective to be the industry leader in delivering value through technology." "MasterCard's agreement with Netscape is a significant endorsement of the Internet as an emerging channel for conducting business," said Jim Clark, chairman and CEO of Netscape Communications. "Our work with a global payments company such as MasterCard, in combination with our agreements with First Data Corporation, Bank of America and First Interstate, enables us to provide a standard and secure means for online payment and card authorization to virtually every bank and business worldwide."
MasterCard, headquartered in New York City, is a global payments franchise of nearly 22,000 member financial institutions worldwide. Through its family of brands, MasterCard offers a full range of credit and debit products and services supported by a global transaction processing network. The MasterCard./Cirrus. ATM network, which is composed of nearly 190,000 ATMs in 65 countries and territories, provides cash access to more than 360 million credit and debit cards worldwide. In addition, MasterCard offers the Maestro. point-of-sale program, with more than 145 million committed edc/Maestro debit cards, of which more than 82 million cards are live. In 1993, MasterCard's credit and debit cards generated 3.6 billion transactions, totaling $320 billion in sales volume, at 12 million acceptance locations worldwide.