Thursday, July 30, 2009

Safety feature - Online Credit card usage

If you have ever stopped to look at the online credit usage you would have done (including reviewed the information you were asked to provide), it would seem extremely easy to use somebody's card and use it for buying stuff. What is it that you need to provide in terms of information when using your credit card online ? You go to a site, decide to buy something (maybe jewellery, maybe some electronics goods, or something that can be delivered instantaneously such as software) and are asked whether you need to pay through a credit card, using the much hyped secure card payment gateways (that use '128 bit encryption security', and are from well known banks).
Think for a minute about the information you provide online; you typically provide the following information:
- Name
- Date of birth (sometimes)
- Card Number
- 3 / 4 Digit security code at the back of the card
- Validity period of the card
Now, if you had gone to a restaurant, and paid by card, the person taking the billing (waiter, cashier) would already have all these details (except for Date of Birth), and for that, if they ask you to fill a card containing personal details such as DOB and anniversary, most of us would fill that already. That is enough for them to use that card details online, and in many cases, this goes undetected, or detected only at the end of the month. So why is nothing being done about this ?
Well, something is finally being done (link to article):

If you're an online shopaholic, make sure you have a personal identification number (PIN)/password for your credit or debit cards. Otherwise, forget about using them for internet shopping from August 1. A recent directive by the Reserve Bank of India makes it mandatory to have an additional authentication passcode verified by Visa or MSC (Mastercard Secure Code). This is in addition to the other information already on the card like name, card number, expiry date and CVV (card verification value) number
So how do you get this new password? Credit/debit card users have to register online with their banks, giving personal and card details. They will then be given a PIN or password to be be used as an additional layer of security at the checkout point before completion of the transaction.

So, if you did not know about this directive, and wonder as to why your card does not seem to work online anymore, now you know the reasons for the same. So, go ahead, and contact your bank for getting the confirmation. As to whether this is fool-proof, only time will tell.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 12:46 PM