Mon, 07 Jul 2003

MasterCard boost online payment security

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

MasterCard International has developed a technology called SecureCode that allows cardholders, online merchants and card issuers to enjoy more secure online transactions.

"SecureCode addresses the two sides to online transactions, the merchants and the cardholders," company vice president for business and technology integration for Asia Pacific region Mark Patrick told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

On the merchants' side, the technology allows them to authenticate the cardholder during a transaction, while on the cardholders' side, the technology prevents non-cardholders from using their cards, Patrick explained.

"Even if, for example, I hold your credit card, I can't use it without your secure code. It works like autoteller machine cards that require a PIN," he said.

Patrick was in Jakarta to introduce the technology to some payment gateway vendors in Indonesia. The company has offered the service to payment gateway vendors and online merchants in the United States, European continent and Asia.

With SecureCode, Patrick said, the company was expecting a significant growth in e-commerce transaction volumes, eliminating roughly 75 percent to 80 percent of e-commerce fraud.

The new technology was introduced in response to many people's fears of fraud while doing transactions online. A report by eMarketer magazine released in 2002 said that there was an untapped e-commerce market worth as much as US$3 trillion globally, while research by MasterCard revealed 73 percent of potential online consumers agreed that enhanced security features would influence their decision to purchase online.

Aside from MasterCard, payment card firms Visa and American Express have also been seeking to boost security in online transactions. For instance, Visa has introduced its technology, called Verified by Visa, while American Express has launched the so-called "ironclad protection".