News Newsflash news: Leading experts declare the security in Visa and Mastercard Chip-and-Pin is “BROKEN” and a new card company and brand is launched in Latin America
news: Leading experts declare the security in Visa and Mastercard Chip-and-Pin is “BROKEN” and a new card company and brand is launched in Latin America
Synaptic website news - Newsflash
Monday, 16 August 2010 00:00

In May 2010 world leading security experts demonstrated that the security that protects more than 780 million credit and debit cards, including Eurocard, Mastercard and VISA, at the point of sale is “broken”. If someone temporarily has access to your card they do not need the PIN number to be able to use it. The experts say there are also significant problems in the back end of the credit card system!

As Dr. Jeanette Wing of the US National Science Foundation declared at the US NIST Cybersecurity R&D Themes, 2010: Say "NO!" to business as usual. We don't want it, we can't take it anymore.

Therefore the launch of ELO, a new credit and debit card company and brand in Brasil, provides a golden opportunity to showcase world leadership by delivering new levels in banking security.


In Latin America, leading banks have agreed to roll their existing credit and debit card business into their own new credit card company and brand, called ELO.

ELO’s owners are powerful and profitable banks. Two of them are Government owned and responsible for major government services across Brasil. Their existing connections, experience and dominance (transactions valued at hundreds of billions each year) in Brasil’s credit and debit card markets makes it feasible and necessary for them to protect their new credit card venture with the latest and best levels of security.

Even without a new venture to protect, higher security would benefit these banks’ reputations and protect their government, corporate and many millions of public account customers from existing known weaknesses that plague our banking systems in Europe.

Higher security could become the major marketing advantage which clearly differentiates ELO from existing competing brands. Consumer confidence is a major contributing factor in market success. We anticipate that the banks in Brasil will see the logic in supporting their new venture with the latest and best security foundations.

Brasilian banks can take a leadership role. It is our argument that we all deserve higher levels of security assurance, not just in banking but in every domain, including cyber space, new air traffic control systems and much more. Hopefully new security levels introduced by the ELO banks in Brasil may flow on in time to benefit credit and debit card users, and even other critical infrastructure systems, around the globe.


“Brazilian state-run bank Caixa Economica Federal, state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA (BBAS3.BR) and private bank Banco Bradesco SA (BBD, BBDC4.BR) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly operate the recently created credit-card company ELO.” 9 August 2010

The Bank of Brasil (Banko do Brasil) is a major bank in Latin America and the largest in Brasil in terms of assets and the largest lender in Latin America. Founded in 1808, it is one of the oldest financial institutions in the world. Controlled by the Government of Brasil, the bank is very profitable and holds the monopoly of a number of government funding programs like Pronaf (National Subsistence Farming Support), DRS (Sustainable Regional Development), Fome Zero (No Hunger), PASEP, and others, and is the bank of choice for most municipal and state governments.

Caixa Economic Federal is one of the largest Government owned financial institutions in Latin America and the second largest bank in Brasil. It is the largest mortgage lender in the booming Brasil economy. “CAIXA is the main agent for the Federal Government´s public policies. This is because this 100% public institution serves not only its bank clients, but the whole Brazilian population through the Lotteries, the urban infrastructure investments and the social programs payments, FGTS, PIS and Unemployment Benefit.” - quote

Banco Bradesco is one of the Big Four banks in Brasil and the second largest privately held bank in Brasil in terms of assets. It owns American Express in Brasil and is a major shareholder in the credit and debit transaction processing company CIELO. Bradesco continues to expand.


Together these banks control Brasil’s largest credit/debit card transaction processing company through their ownership of CIELO and CBSS. CIELO held the VISA monopoly in Brasil and processes 49% of all card transactions in Brasil. More than 1.7 million businesses process their transactions through CIELO.

See also related news articles here and here for more information.


About Synaptic Laboratories Limited

Synaptic Laboratories Limited is developing the next generation of secure communications products and protocols to protect global communication networks. Synaptic is guided by a vision of "Long term, high-assurance global data security for all stake-holders". Synaptic drives data security through the development of innovative security technologies founded on well studied cryptographic techniques. Synaptic can be found on the Web at

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