Companies including HBOS, Lloyds TSB and Opodo have signed up for the Verified by Visa scheme, aimed at improving consumer confidence in online shopping.
Visa has confirmed that over 4,000 European retailers have now signed up for the initiative, launched in April 2002, alongside 30 acquiring banks (that retailers work with) and 35 issuing banks (which consumers use).
Verified by Visa is designed to improve security for retailers, while boosting customer confidence in online shopping. Customers get a Pin to use online alongside their credit card.
Dave Cooper, head of card fraud at Lloyds TSB, said: "We have been looking for some years for a solution for both card holders and merchants that is user friendly and not too complex.
"Also as Pin and Chip becomes prevalent at point of sale transactions, the internet will become more attractive to fraudsters so we wanted another level of security."
Retailers that sign up are no longer liable for 'cardholder not present' charge backs if the cardholder denies making the transaction.
Visa said the rollout to retailers and banks will be followed by a consumer launch later this year.
"We concentrated our efforts on getting the acquiring banks signed up in order for the merchants to be able to sign-up. Now the issuing banks are committing, which in turn leads to the service being made available to cardholders," a Visa spokeswoman told vnunet.com.
Duncan Brown, an analyst at Ovum, added: "It is early days for the scheme, but it will virtually eliminate certain types of fraud and boost e-commerce."
Retail industry body the Interactive in Media Retail Group (IMRG) welcomed the scheme, but warned that Visa must increase awareness among European consumers.
James Roper, chief executive at the IMRG, said: "What we need now is for everyone to embrace the scheme. Currently only around 30 per cent of people in Europe shop online because they are afraid about security."
Verified by Visa has been running for about six months longer in the US than in Europe, and a recent study found that 77 per cent of US consumers are now more comfortable about online shopping.
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