Three point-of-sale terminal makers have found common ground on security and formed the Secure POS Vendor Alliance, the trade group announced today at the Electronic Transactions Association Meeting and Expo in Las Vegas. Hypercom Corp., Ingenico S.A. and VeriFone Holdings Inc. formed the alliance to develop common security standards for POS devices. "We're responding to a 'call to arms,'" says Douglas G. Bergeron, CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based VeriFone. Not formed in response to a single payment security incident, the alliance, which has no formal staff or offices yet, is the result of a collective assessment that not doing anything is too risky, Bergeron says. "We're still seeing more hacking, more fraud," he says. Philippe Tartavull, Hypercom president and CEO, says, "Security is a target that is continuously moving." Hypercom is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Among the alliance's first goals is to standardize existing security guidelines among all POS device vendors. It also wants to be an information source of payment device security. Christophe Dolique, chairman of the alliance and executive vice president of global marketing and transaction services at France-based Ingenico, says the involvement of the three companies does not signify a change in their competition against one another. "We are not going to stop our own programs on security," Dolique says. "There are many ways to differentiate ourselves." The alliance will not create a new standard that is outside of existing requirements, says Paul Rasori, VeriFone senior vice president of global marketing and the alliance's secretary and treasurer.T.K. Chueng, Hypercom vice president of global quality and security, says alliance membership is open to POS system makers, too. Chueng is the vice chairman and chief technology officer of the trade group. The alliance's first effort is to recruit members from across the globe.

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