UK MasterCard hack - so who's to blame?

Interesting to see MasterCard and Visa, as well as a cluster of UK banks, including Morgan Stanley and Clydesdale Bank, quietly closing ranks over the weekend in the wake of revelations surrounding several thousand MasterCard and Visa cardholders having their account security compromised.

It's interesting that the card issuers concerned are based in Scotland and that most of the 4,000 (the figure so far -Ed) cardholders whose accounts are alleged to have been compromised, are mainly MasterCard holders.

Despite a lot of online and offline news reports, not that much is really being said, apart from Silicon.com breaking the story.

Myself, I have a NatWest MasterCard with a humungous £500 credit limit which I use for all my online purchases. If the account is compromised, then the fraudsters won't get away with much.

And anyway, it's the bank's money innit?

Think about it - if you use a Switch/Maestro or Visa debit card online, you run the small risk of your munney getting ripped. If it's a credit card, it's the bank's munney - and you get the benefit of consumer credit legislation to protect your account.

It's a no brainer - use a credit card online, every time. Even if you're buying an airline ticket with a surcharge for using a credit card. The small extra cost is worth the peace of mind.

Will we ever find out which e-tailer is guilty of causing its customers a load of grief? I doubt it myself, as too many people make too many online purchases for anyone to do the maths and extrapolate which online retailer is at fault.

Assuming it is an online retailer, of course. It could also be a transaction processor...