VISA, AMEX Dump Processing Company

Jennifer Love Hewitt arrives at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009, in Los Angeles.
Visa USA Inc. and American Express Co. are cutting ties with the payment-processing company that left 40 million credit and debit card accounts vulnerable to hackers in one of the biggest breaches of consumer data security.

CardSystems Solutions Inc. "has not corrected, and cannot at this point correct, the failure to provide proper data security for Visa accounts," said Rosetta Jones, a vice president at Foster City, Calif.-based Visa, in a statement.

She said banks that issue Visa cards would have until Oct. 31 to replace CardSystems with one of the hundreds of other payment-processing companies in the U.S.

American Express also notified CardSystems it would sever their relationship as of October, spokeswoman Judy Tenzer said. CardSystems was a small part of American Express' network, handling less than 0.5 percent of its transactions, she said.

Representatives for Atlanta-based CardSystems did not return calls seeking comment.

CardSystems told the FBI it learned of a potential breach of its computer network on May 22, and the break-in was publicly disclosed last month. The agency has not disclosed any details of the investigation.

While information relating to 40 million accounts was laid bare in the break-in, credit card companies have said at least 200,000 were known to have been stolen, primarily MasterCard and Visa cards.