Verified by Visa Protects Consumers Shopping Online, Transaction Volume Rises for the Holiday Season

Visa's Security Standard for the Authentication of eCommerce Transactions Growing Rapidly as Cardholders, Merchants and Banks Adopt the Service

SAN FRANCISCO, October 26, 2004

Verified by Visa, the leading security standard for the authentication of Internet transactions recorded an increase of close to 200% in the number of transactions for the quarter ending in September 2004 compared to the same quarter one year ago. In addition, total Verified by Visa card volume for the first nine months of 2004 was $5.4 billion.


Heading into what promises to be a record season for online purchases, Verified by Visa provides consumers confidence to shop online, and merchants with the protection they need from the high cost of fraud. According to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, more than 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from an online merchant who protects transactions through Verified by Visa.


More than 17,000 U.S.-based Internet retailers, and millions of Visa cardholders, will rely on Verified by Visa this holiday season to guard against fraud through more secure Internet transactions. For participating merchants, Verified by Visa protects against charge backs for purchases made with Visa payment cards.


"We knew we needed to make some changes that would make a safer and risk-free shopping alternative," says Steve Javery, director of e-commerce and integration for CompUSA, Inc.  "Our tagline is 'Where America Buys Technology,' so it was imperative that we make people in every corner of the market feel secure when they buy our products online."


Several key Internet retailers and aggregators have recently launched the Verified by Visa service, including Hotwire, NewEgg,, Beach Camera, as well as aggregators such as Alliance Entertainment (covering merchants like Sam Goody, Media Play, Suncoast and Fred Mayer), GSI Commerce (covering merchants including FogDog, Liz Claiborne, Tweeter, Ace Hardware, Reebok, Rockport, Linens 'n Things, Sports Authority, Nickelodeon Jr., Modell's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Wilson's) and Official Payments, which processes payments for 24 states and 1,500 local governments.


Those merchants join the growing list of long-time Verified by Visa online merchants that includes household names like CompUSA, one of the nation's largest computer retailers; Zales, the leader in fine jewelry retailing; and Northwest Airlines, the world's fifth-largest airline.


Verified by Visa is a unique service that uses personal passwords, identity information and encryption to help protect Visa cards against unauthorized use. With the potential for fraud growing every day just one type of fraud, so-called "phishing" attacks, has multiplied 56 times over the past year merchants and cardholders are adopting Verified by Visa at rapidly growing rates. At the same time, active Verified by Visa cardholders have proved to be an important contributor to the growth of merchant profits online: 

Study Shows Positive Cardholder Experiences

Since the introduction of Verified by Visa in 2001, Visa has worked diligently to incorporate merchant and cardholder feedback into refinements of the system. Today, there are strict rules for participating institutions covering everything from the appearance of the verification screens to what information is requested from a cardholder when the card is activated for use with Verified by Visa.


In a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research, active cardholders shopping online analyzed and recorded the overall Verified by Visa shopping process.  Overwhelmingly, cardholder experience proved to be positive including time to complete transaction, the ease of using the service, and the majority of cardholders viewed the Verified by Visa service as part of a unified shopping experience.


Verified by Visa can also add significant economic benefits for participating merchants, including chargeback savings and a reduction of the merchant discount by five basis points for the majority of Visa transactions.


How Verified by Visa Works

Verified by Visa uses a cardholder-selected password to authenticate an online transaction. This makes it far more difficult for criminals or other unauthorized users to make a transaction with a stolen card number.


Cardholders can activate their Visa payment cards for the Verified by Visa service through their financial institution, at the Verified by Visa Web site (, or when making a purchase at a participating merchant. Cardholders who have activated their Verified by Visa cards can authenticate their identity when shopping on the Internet at a participating merchant through the use of a password the same way a PIN number authenticates cardholder identity at an ATM machine.


More than 250 million Visa payment cards in the U.S. are eligible for Verified by Visa activation today.


About Visa

Visa is the world's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives.  Nearly 21,000 financial institutions worldwide rely on Visa branded products to generate $2.5 trillion in card volume.  Cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accepted at millions of locations worldwide.  Within the United States, nearly 14,000 financial institutions issue 450 million Visa cards, accounting for more than $1.1 trillion in annual transaction volume. Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.  

Emily Tzinberg