What you need to know about Visa and Mastercard security breach

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Credit and debit card users: Be on alert! Your credit card information can be out there in the hands of thieves.

If you carry a Mastercard or Visa, you may be one of 10 million cardholders affected.

The breach was discovered by Global Payments, a company based out of Atlanta, self-described as "one of the world's largest electronic transaction processing companies."

Nate Reis is president and CEO of Entrust Bankcard Company, a local company that also processes credit card and debit card payments. He said what this breach means is that your credit card information may have been stolen from the machine where you swiped your card.

"It means that somehow somebody breached Global's processing system ... and many times this happens internally. Between that machine and where [your information] goes through, somebody grabbed that information between Global’s network," Reis said.

Even though millions of dollars in stolen money is at risk, Reis said there is a plus to this situation: It will get card holders back on their toes, regularly checking their credit card or debit card statements.

Reis said small businesses are especially at risk in this breach because many small businesses have credit card systems that may be old, which makes it easy for thieves.

Reis' company is offering free equipment upgrades for small businesses if their customers were victimized.

If you are one of those businesses, please contact Reis at Entrust Bank Services, www.entrustbankcard.com or 480-295-4661.