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Visa, Microsoft Security Deal Ailing

The deal between Visa International and Microsoft to develop secure transaction technology may be falling apart, according to press reports.

The pair is racing against a similar project backed by IBM, Netscape Communications, and MasterCard. According to reports, the Visa-Microsoft effort is in trouble because Visa officials are increasingly in favor of working with MasterCard to create a single security standard.

A single standard, however, would weaken Microsoft's position in the online banking arena. According to press reports, many banks fear that Microsoft would impose transaction fees on them and are urging Visa and MasterCard to work together on a standard.