A huge data breach at a firm that processes payments has compromised debit and credit card information for all the major card brands. The processing company, Global Payments confirmed on Friday that card information might have been accessed. The company said the intrusion was discovered in the beginning of March and it promptly notified all parties involved.
The company would not release the total number of accounts that were affected or the type of information that might have been compromised. A criminal investigation is currently ongoing. After a report was released about the data compromise, shares of Global Payments dropped 9% before its trading was halted. The stock was still not trading as of the close of business Friday.
Global Payments did not release a list of the card companies affected but the largest, Visa, said in a statement that all the big players were involved. The cardholder’s data information is sent to a payment processor when their card is swiped. The business of processing payments is enormous. Over $167 billion worth of business was processed by Global Payments in its fiscal year last year. The company specializes in small merchants like local retailers and mom and pop businesses.
Global Payments did say that the breach did not involve merchants or the relationship with customers. On Monday, the company will have a conference call in order to provide details. Rumors are that the number of cards that were breached could be as high as 10 million.