Both Visa and Mastercard are changing their online security checks

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

17 July 2018

Holders of Mastercard and Visa debit or credit cards will soon find that their online shopping experiences are changing—for the better, in terms of security.

An EU directive, known as the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and delivered by the European Commission, requires all banks to improve their authentication procedures for online shopping by September 2019. This is likely to be done, in many instances, via two-factor authentication, which is already standard practice across many industries.

In response to the directive, both Visa and Mastercard are strengthening up their customer authentication methods.

Mastercard, which currently uses their own SecureCode for this purpose, estimate that under 2% of online purchases need to use a password to verify a customer. However, this is set to rise to around 25% with the change in their process.

It’s up to the companies themselves to decide how they will implement stronger authentication. One company may choose to use passwords sent via SMS, while others may choose to use biometric information.

A Visa spokesperson told watchdog website Which?:

This will strengthen and simplify authentication for online payments. It means that customers will increasingly see the use of one-time passwords when they make online payments with a Visa card.

It’s unclear when exactly customers will see the changes, but it should be in the near future. If you would like to confirm with your card provider what steps you should take to prepare yourself, give them a call and ask to speak to someone about this issue.

However, this is, overall, a good thing for your privacy.

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