Visa has partnered with banks in China and Taiwan to introduce an SMS-based one-time password system for cardholders to authenticate themselves when making online purchases.
The service is based on the card network's Verified by Visa authentication system, which requires cardholders to punch in a secret PIN when paying for goods over the Internet.
But instead of the customer using a fixed code, they are sent a one-time password to their mobile phone which is used to verify their identity.
Visa is introducing the service with Chinatrust Commercial Bank in Taiwan and China Everbright Bank in China. To sign up, customers enroll their cards for Verified by Visa and register a designated mobile phone number on their bank's Web site.
When making an online payment, the customer enters their card number and a screen from the bank appears and asks for the password. At the same time, a one-time password is sent to their mobile phone via text message, which is used to verify the transaction
Visa says this makes online shopping more secure and eliminates the need for the cardholder to remember their password.
Rahul Khosla, COO, Asia Pacific, Visa, says: "By adding a one-time password service to Verified by Visa we aim to give our cardholders even greater peace of mind with an added layer of control and security when they make payments online."
In November four European banks agreed to pilot a new Visa card comprising a display for generating one-time numeric codes for consumers to use when transacting online or by telephone.