June 4, 2007, 12:00 AM

Wal-Mart takes spot on advisory board for PCI data security standard

Wal-Mart and UK retail chain Tesco take two of the 14 spots on an advisory panel for the PCI data security standard designed to protect consumer information online.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and UK retail chain Tesco Stores Ltd. were among the 14 organizations elected last month to serve on the advisory board for the PCI Security Standards Council. The council manages the PCI data security rules designed to safeguard consumer information online.

The advisory board was elected by the nearly 200 PCI council member organizations. Slots on the advisory board were parceled out to ensure representation of financial institutions, merchants and transactions processors, with some slots reserved for “others,” which includes vendors of payment terminals and industry associations. The PCI standards body was created by the major payment card brands Visa International, MasterCard Worldwide, American Express, Discover Financial Services and Japan’s JCB.

"Wal-Mart takes very seriously the protection of customer data and we are honored to have a position on the Advisory Board,” Michael A. Coo, vice president and assistant treasurer, said in a statement. “PCI is not a one-time project or issue. The industry`s efforts to maintain the safety of cardholders` data will continue to be an ongoing challenge. We appreciate the confidence placed in us and we will strive to be a responsible, contributing member of the board.” Wal-Mart.com is No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Other members of the advisory board include the PayPal payments subsidiary of eBay, Microsoft Corp. and U.S. banking companies Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

The first order of business for the advisory board will be to help set the agenda for the first PCI Security Standards Council Community Meeting, which will bring together PCI participating organizations and vendors certified to audit merchants, processors and others for compliance with PCI standards. That meeting will take place in Toronto Sept. 17-19.

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