3-D Secure revealed

Yours truly tottered off to a security conference last week, at which a Visa technician explained more than a little about the Verified by Visa system.

The VbV system is similar to MasterCard SecureCode in that it uses password known only to the cardholder (and the card issuer), which is entered when making selected online purchases.

The industry name for both systems, it appears, is 3-D Secure, which is based on a technology released to card issuers way back in 2001, since when the rollout has been very slow.

With mandatory Chip and PIN for retail transactions being implemented next month in the UK, you can expect interest in stopping card fraud to switch to online transactions.

Unfortunately for cardholders, the 3-D Secure system is optional for online retailers, and is only available through the larger transaction processors.

This means that, unless an e-tailer has arrangement with one of the major banks or transaction processors, then the chances of 3-D Secure being implemented at the sharp end of the online transaction are fairly minimal.

This will change, as the Visa tech hinted that the 3-D Secure system will soon become mandatory, much as Chip and PIN is due to become mandatory for face-to-face transactions from February 14 onwards.

Expect to hear more, much more, about Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, in the next few months...