New merchant security guidelines and mounting consumer pressure have forced many e-commerce retailers to search for credit card processing platforms that store customer information offsite, away from their own computer networks. Visa, Inc. subsidiary CyberSource announced a new suite of merchant software tools that accomplish that goal without slowing down transaction times or increasing the risk of fraud.

According to CyberSource officials, the new version of their e-commerce platform "tokenizes" customer information. This relatively new approach to transaction processing allows merchant sites to match details about an order, such as shipping and payment address, with a secure token representing a customer's payment information on CyberSource's secure servers. Therefore, site admins and developers can never access a customer's actual credit card number or security ID.

By shifting credit card storage to a third-party processor like CyberSource, e-commerce retailers no longer need to ensure compliance with PCI security standards on their own websites. This shift significantly reduces development costs and shrinks deployment schedules, a move that CyberSource officials told reporters would make e-commerce even more efficient for its clients and their customers.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.