Visa has announced its latest weapon to combat the high fraud rate in electronic transactions - the password.
Currently being rolled out in the US, the company is working on a system that will require customers to enter a password to complete an online transaction.
As part of the rollout, banks will be required to install databases containing user passwords. Whenever an online purchase is made the transaction is verified by the card-issuing bank, and a pop up window appears asking for a password to complete the transaction.
Banks can either install and run the application themselves or have it run for them by Visa authorised application service providers.
Consumers will be able to register a password either with Visa online or through their card-issuing bank. The company said that the plan is to have every Visa online purchase verified by the customer at some point in the future.
Although Visa admitted that online purchases currently only represent about three per cent of overall transactions, this figure is expected to grow to 10 per cent by 2005.
The company said that the slow growth rate was down to a lack of confidence in online transactions, but that confidence in security would grow through the addition of verification techniques such as passwords.
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