Visa Asia Pacific has launched the secure online payment service, Verified by Visa, in China. The Bank of China, China Merchant Bank and China Construction Bank are the first financial institutions in the country to adopt the system.
The Verified by Visa service authenticates online shoppers at the point of purchase with a password.
China Construction Bank is the first acquiring bank to offer the service to online merchants. The bank expects more than 300 online merchants to be participating within the next six months.
Bank of China and China Merchant Bank are the first to offer online authentication to cardholders. The service will be available at no charge to all registered Great Wall cardholders.
Visa says there is tremendous potential for the service in China. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, close to 20 million cardholders in China used the Internet to make a purchase last year.
In addition, Visa has released a dual currency card in China following changes in foreign currency policy where, for the first time, cardholders can settle outstanding balances in Chinese renminbi for overseas purchases. Previously, cardholders were required to settle balances only in US or Hong Kong dollars.
Albert Shiung, vice president, Visa Asia Pacific and country manager, China, says: "Visa's dual-currency credit card is especially tailored as a payment product for China's online shoppers."