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Visa aims to increase security of online card payments

14 July 2010 - 11:32 by Mike Price

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Card provider Visa has introduced a new technology that it hopes will encourage safe shopping online by making the process more robust in the face of any attempt at fraud.

Visa CodeSure combines improved card verification software with a brand new breed of payment card which integrates a keypad and screen in order to ensure that only the legitimate user is able to use the card online.

The card has a battery built in and the keypad has 12 digits and alphanumeric markings and will be used to promote not just safe shopping online, but also secure telephone banking. In many ways this is similar in concept to the PINsentry technology employed by Barclays for its online banking customers but the technology is embedded within the card itself rather than a separate card reader as in the Barclays implementation.

During a typical online shop, the user will be presented with the Verified by Visa screen at checkout and participating retailers will also have CodeSure compatibility. Pressing a dedicated CodeSure button on the card will generate a unique code which the user will then input online to authenticate the session and make sure that the required payment is made securely.

The card will not generate a CodeSure key unless the user first enters their PIN via the keypad, which has led Visa to claim that the service will be able to echo the levels of security offered by chip and PIN transactions on the high street.

In addition to being integrated with online shopping, online banking will also become more secure as a result of Visa CodeSure.

Visa began developing CodeSure last year and several UK financial institutions have been involved in the testing of the service in order to ensure that it is user friendly as well as secure.

During the trials, Visa found that 86 per cent of participants felt more secure when making transactions online and 70 per cent claimed that they would use their payment cards online more frequently, which can only be good news for retailers.