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Visa launch password program to boost online shopping security

[December 12th 2001]

Visa U.S.A. has launched Verified by Visa, a new service designed to add greater online security to credit and debit card payments. Verified by Visa enables participating card-issuing banks to validate a cardholder's identity through the use of a password during the online checkout process. This new password protection gives consumers greater control over when and where their card is used, further reducing the potential for unauthorized card use on the Internet.

According to a survey conducted by Visa U.S.A. during November, 70 percent of consumers said they would feel safer making purchases on the Web if they had a password verifying their identity.

"More people are spending greater amounts of time online, but when it comes to Internet purchases, some cardholders are still sitting on the sidelines," said Carl Pascarella, president and chief executive officer, Visa U.S.A. "In our 30-year history of providing a secure payment system, we've learned there is no single solution. Adding the password protection of Verified by Visa to our arsenal, which already includes Zero Liability, will bolster confidence among online consumers. As technology continues to evolve, so, too, will our safeguards for the nation's largest consumer payment system."

Even though Visa cardholders are already backed by liability protection, Verified by Visa provides an extra precaution consumers can take to prevent unauthorized use of their cards. Consumers simply register with participating card issuing banks for personalized passwords or through the Visa Web site; they only register once, and no special software is required. After creating their passwords, Visa cardholders shop at participating online stores just as they do today. After hitting the "buy" button, cardholders will be prompted for their Verified by Visa passwords to confirm their identities with their card issuing banks. The process takes just a few seconds and is as simple as signing a sales receipt at the cash register. Verified by Visa is a portable solution, so cardholders are protected whether they shop on the Web from work or at home.

"Consumers want to know their online purchases are secure and getting that security should not be an inconvenience," said Todd Penner, online marketing director for Dell's Consumer Group, a participating online retailer. "That's why we're supporting Verified by Visa. It's easy to use; our customers just type in a password. Greater consumer confidence in e-commerce ultimately means increased online sales."

Initial participation in Verified by Visa includes a number of major banks and online retailers, and many more are expected to participate in the coming months. Now underway, the consumer rollout of Verified by Visa will include print, television and online advertising, as well as consumer education efforts with participating banks.

Verified by Visa

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