Today’s data thieves are highly sophisticated in their technological expertise and their understanding of the payment infrastructure. They are smart, nimble and determined – moving quickly to take advantage of any new opportunity to perpetrate fraud globally.
To counter this threat, every entity with a stake in the electronic payments network must be fully committed to protecting the system 24 hours a day.
Visa’s approach is based on the belief that the only effective way to fight fraud is to employ multiple layers of security. Simply put, there is no “silver bullet” that will erase fraud. Criminals attack the payment system from many directions using multiple tools and tactics. Visa works to protect each link within its control and works with others in the payment chain with an aim to ensure there is no single point of failure - no weak link.
In Australia, Visa is working with the industry to implement a comprehensive seven-point security agenda to strengthen the payments system.
Visa has developed a range of tools and services to allow fraud to be managed effectively. These include:
Visa card security features
The Visa card itself has a number of built-in security features designed to help card issuers and merchants recognise a real card from a counterfeit one. These include the magnetic stripe, embossing, dove hologram and three-digit Cardholder Verification Value (CVV2). When a merchant collects the CVV2 in an offline transaction such as during an internet, mail order or telephone transaction, the card issuer can verify that the data is genuine.
Visa is working to bring chip technology to cardholders and merchant point of sale terminals. A chip card is a card that contains an embedded microcomputer chip that stores and processes data. The chip cannot be counterfeited, because some of the data necessary for counterfeiting cannot be copied from the genuine chip.
Verified by Visa Program
Verified by Visa is a global authentication program providing an added level of security for online transactions. The Verified by Visa service verifies cardholder identity in real-time through the use of a password so customers can shop more confidently and merchants can accept Visa cards with peace of mind.
Visa’s Zero Liability policy is our promise that cardholders will not be held responsible for fraudulent charges made with their Visa card. Visa’s cardholder protection policy requires all financial institutions issuing Visa products to extend provisional credit for losses from unauthorised card use within five business days of notification of the loss.
Visa’s Account Information Security Program (AIS)
AIS is a global program requiring merchants to make their virtual and physical environments more secure, thereby helping protect against hacks. This program provides merchants with an easy to-use toolkit aimed to help them understand and implement processes that protect cardholder account and transaction data. The program includes global standards, a best practices guide, and a self-assessment questionnaire providing key information and requirements. Visa has aligned its AIS program requirements with other payment providers to provide the global Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Merchants and service providers are able to assess the status of their security by using a single set of security standards.
Visa plays an active role against scams such as “phishing” and “spoofing”, where emails and fake websites are used to trick consumers into submitting personal, financial or password data. Visa works closely with industry partners and law enforcement agencies to shut down phishing websites. In the past year alone, Visa deactivated 85 percent of reported phishing attacks within 48 hours of notification.1 Visa believes that the key to stopping this type of fraud is through education. Consumers are urged to report any emails and fake websites claiming to be from Visa or their issuing financial institution that request their personal account information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global standards are a vital part of a secure and efficient payments industry. Visa donates many of its security initiatives to the industry and participates in a number of industry work groups aimed at enhancing industry wide security.