Europeans embrace Verified by Visa; SARS driving Asia Pacific uptake

Europeans embrace Verified by Visa; SARS driving Asia Pacific uptake

A year on from the European launch of its secure online payment service, Verified by Visa, the international card scheme claims to have signed up 4000 retailers, 30 acquirers and 35 issuing banks.

Launched in April 2002, Verified by Visa is estimated to lead to an 80% reduction in the number of e-commerce disputes for online retailers.

The most recent European recruits to the scheme are issuing banks HBOS and Lloyds TSB, as well as retailers Opodo and Tesco Flowers, who are both acquired by RBSG Streamline.

Hugo Bottellier, vice president, Visa EU comments: "Verified by Visa has been adopted by 80 per cent of US banks and is a success with consumers as well – which gives us every confidence that European cardholders will welcome this safer way to pay online as more and more online brands offer it."

By guaranteeing the cardholder's identity, the liability for chargebacks is shifted from the merchant to the issuing bank. From 1 April 2003 this liability shift guarantee was extend beyond Europe to include retailers and banks from anywhere in the world.

Stuart Walters, chief information officer, Opodo says: "Despite the growth of e-commerce, many customers still have concerns about the security of shopping online. The added layer of protection provided by Verified by Visa is very welcome because it will help to alleviate any such concerns that reluctant online buyers may have."

David Cooper, head of card risk, Lloyds TSB says the bank will actively encourage its cardholders to sign up. "It's important for the future of e-commerce that cardholders feel confident when shopping online and payment verification is a major step towards this," he says.

In the Asia Pacific region, Taiwan's Taishin Bank has become the world's first bank to offer online cash advances to cardholders using Verified by Visa.

The bank has actively promoted the uptake of e-commerce and Internet banking as a means for consumers to shop in safety during the recent SARS outbreak. Daniel Tsai, Taishin Bank president, says: "The cash advance using Verified by Visa authentication would provide consumers with a secure and safe method for online cash borrowing. Cardholders can apply for cash advances using Visa's secure authentication service in the comfort of their homes, safe from the threat of SARS."

In April and May this year, the fear of SARS caused a 20%-30% increase in online banking and online shopping in Asia Pacific. Mark Burbidge, SVP and general manager, e-Visa International Asia Pacific says: "In April alone, some Visa bank members have reported a surge in Internet cash advance transactions by as much as 50 percent."

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