Guide to guarding your card online

Securing your card from fraudulent online shopping requires putting some security measures in place. Amazingly,3dsecure
most card processors such as Mastercard and Visa Card have some of those features, but people barely know about them nor understand the security features and how to set them up. MasterCard SecureCode, Verified by Visa and Amex Key have have become a widely accepted security measure since the current shift to EMV and rise in online fraud.

Online transactions, also known as card not present transactions, are transactions done when the cardholder is not present (versus physical, in-store transactions). These are particularly expensive for merchants, as they have to pay consumers for any disputed charges of fraud, and also qualify for higher card processing fees.

3D Secure, a program introduced by Visa, MasterCard and American Express 15 years ago, aims to decrease internet fraud, by adding an extra authentication step with the purpose of confirming a consumer’s identity at checkout, before the transaction is approved. In effect, the program saves merchants considerable amounts of money, as it lowers processing fees and shifts liability back to the consumer’s bank without passing it to the consumer for online fraud.

This guide explains the 3d Secure security measures (Mastercard Secure code and Verified by Visa) that can be put in place by cardholders. This will minimise the tendency of the card wrongly used for fraudulent transaction, allow cardholder to perform transaction on websites that require 3D secure code before transaction pass thru.


MasterCard SecureCode
MasterCard SecureCode is a simple and secure way to pay online. It’s a private code known only to you and your mastercard-securecodebank, your SecureCode enhances your existing MasterCard account by protecting you against unauthorized use of your card when shopping online at participating online retailers.
The transaction process remains the same when shopping online with one exception. A participating merchant will automatically recognize that the card you input is tied to an enrolled account and the site will prompt you to enter your SecureCode, the code will then be sent to your financial institution for nearly instant verification that the code is correct and an approval or declination will be sent back to the retailer. This is akin to using a PIN online. In these instances a purchase will only go through when the correct SecureCode is entered. This provides protection because even if someone has your card number, the card will not work at a large number of sites that have enrolled on the platform.





Activating the SecureCode
Step 1 – Choose Your SecureCode
Sign Up for MasterCard SecureCode through your bank or create your SecureCode during shopping.
You will be required to enter your SecureCode during checkout every time you make a purchase with your MasterCard at any SecureCode enabled merchant – if you don’t have a SecureCode before, you’ll be prompted to create it. When this happens, a window will appear and you’ll be guided through a simple SecureCode enrollment process before your purchase is completed.
Step 2 – Use Your SecureCode at Checkout
Every time you want to pay online at participating retailers, you will be automatically prompted to enter your own private SecureCode – just like entering a PIN at the ATM. In seconds, you gain added protection while shopping online.


Step 3 – Shop Smarter
Look for the MasterCard SecureCode logo when shopping at participating online retailers.

FAQS about Mastercard Securecode
Q. What is MasterCard SecureCode?
A. MasterCard SecureCode is a service to enhance security of a MasterCard account. It is a private code that further protects the card when you shop at participating online retailers.
Q. How does MasterCard SecureCode work?
A. Once you’ve registered and created your own private SecureCode, you will be automatically prompted by your financial institution at checkout to provide your SecureCode each time you make a purchase with a participating online merchant. Your SecureCode is quickly confirmed by your financial institution and then your purchase is completed. Your SecureCode will never be shared with the merchant. It’s just like entering your PIN at an ATM.
Q. How does MasterCard SecureCode protect me?
A. When you correctly enter your SecureCode during a purchase at a participating online merchant, you confirm that you are the authorized cardholder and your purchase is then completed. If an incorrect SecureCode is entered, the purchase will not be completed. Even if someone knows your Debit/Credit card number, the purchase cannot be completed without your SecureCode at a participating merchant.
Q. How do I know whether a merchant participates in SecureCode?
A. Most participating merchants will display the MasterCard SecureCode logo on their site. However, even if you don’t see the SecureCode logo, the merchant may still be a participant and you will be prompted to provide your SecureCode.
Q. What card do I use? Will I need to get a new card to use MasterCard SecureCode?
A. You will be able to use any of your existing MasterCard Debit/Credit cards, as long as the cards are from a participating financial institution. If you’re not sure if your financial institution provides this service, please visit your bank/card issuer for further enquiries.
Q. How many cards can I register with MasterCard SecureCode?
A. You are encouraged to register all of your MasterCard cards individually. There is no limit on how many cards you can register.
Q. Can two people with a joint account use the same password or should they register MasterCard SecureCode separately?
A. Enrollment is at the account level, so the password must be shared.
Q. Can I use MasterCard SecureCode from any computer?
A. Because there’s no special software to install, you can shop from any computer meeting the system requirements and still receive the added protection afforded by MasterCard SecureCode.
Q. What happens when my card expires or my billing information changes?
A. Your card issuer will automatically update this information in your profile.
Q. What happens if I cancel my existing card, then get a new one with a different account number?
A. You will need to register the new card for MasterCard SecureCode. Simply return to the registration site, and complete the registration process with your new card.
Q. How will the online merchant know that I’m registered for MasterCard SecureCode?
A. When you use a card that is enrolled in the MasterCard SecureCode program at participating online merchants, the merchant automatically recognizes your MasterCard card number during the transaction.
Q. How will SecureCode change the online purchase process?
A. The online purchase process will not change except that now you will be prompted to provide your SecureCode during checkout. Your SecureCode will never be revealed to the merchant during the checkout process.
Q. Will I be able to make purchases at merchants that accept MasterCard but do not participate in the MasterCard SecureCode program?
A. Yes, you will not be asked for your SecureCode during these purchases. You will continue to be protected from unauthorized purchases by Zero Liability from MasterCard.
Q. I am a merchant who would like to offer SecureCode to my customers. How do I get more information?
A. For information on participating in MasterCard SecureCode, please visit
Q. How is SecureCode different from Zero Liability?
A. Using MasterCard SecureCode provides added security to prevent your card from unauthorized use. Exceptions apply. Zero Liability provides coverage if your card has been used fraudulently.
Q. Where can I view Terms and Conditions of the SecureCode program?
A. Please visit your Bank/Card issuers Web site for the Terms and Conditions specific to your card.
Q. Where can I review the privacy policy of my financial institution?
A. Please visit your Bank/Card issuers Web site to review the privacy policy specific to your card. Merchant Implementation: Any merchant can add MasterCard SecureCode functionality to its site by meeting certain security standards, which may require a plug-in application and by discussing pass-thru of authentication data with its transaction processer. With these steps met a merchant is then ready to follow the online MasterCard implementation guide.



Verified by VISA
Visa offers comprehensive fraud protection, but Verified by Visa goes even a step further, adding an extra layer of verified-by-visasecurity at the point where you enter Debit/Credit card information online. The service helps prevent unauthorized online use before it happens-by confirming your identity with an additional password. It is an addition to their other ways of preventing, detecting, and resolving fraud. It is a free, simple-to-use service that confirms your identity with an extra password when you make an online transaction.
How it works
1. Activate the Verified by Visa feature
Enroll your Debit/Credit card in the Verified by Visa program – on your Bank/participating card issuer’s website or while shopping online.


2. Shop at participating online merchants
Visit online merchants that display the Verified by Visa symbol for an added layer of protection.
3. Enjoy enhanced security and added peace of mind-by activating your Verified by Visa.
Activating Verified by Visa
It’s easy and only takes a few moments to activate your card. You can activate on the secure Visa website, at your participating bank/card issuer’s site or during the checkout process at a participating online merchant.
You may be able to activate Verified by Visa while shopping at a participating merchant. If your issuer offers this option, you’ll be asked to activate during the checkout. Here’s what to expect: If you are prompted to activate your Visa card during the checkout process at one of the participating online merchants, it’s quick and easy. If your bank/card issuer is participating in Verified by Visa you may be asked to complete a brief activation process. To complete the process, you will verify your identity by answering a few simple questions then create your Verified by Visa password and you are done.
Once your card is activated, your card number will be recognized whenever you shop at a participating Verified by Visa merchant. You will enter your password in the Verified by Visa window, your identity will be verified and the transaction will be completed. In stores that are not yet Verified by Visa enabled, your Visa card will continue to work as usual. However way you activate, your information is protected.
FAQS About Verified by VISA (VbV)
Q. Doesn’t Visa already protect my card from theft and fraud?
A. Visa’s multiple layers of protection give you an extraordinary level of security, so you can feel confident whenever and wherever you use your card. Verified by Visa is only one part of their five-layer system to prevent, detect, and resolve security issues. Specifically, it is designed to make online shopping experiences safer more secure, and also gives you extra control over your Internet transactions.
Q. What do I need to do to use Verified by Visa?
A. All you need to do is activate your card. Then, whenever you submit an order at a participating online store, a Verified by Visa window will appear automatically. Enter your password, submit, and that’s it. If you have not yet activated your Visa card, just enter the authentication information when prompted by your card issuer and create a password. Once activated, your Visa card number cannot be used without your personal password for online purchases on merchants that accept Verified by Visa.
Q. Can I use Verified by Visa with any Visa card I have now?
A. Yes, Verified by Visa is designed to protect the Visa card, or cards, that you already have – whether they are credit cards or debit cards.
Q. Can I use Verified by Visa if I share a Visa card number with other family members?
Yes, you can. Some issuers require each person on your Visa account to activate his or her individual card and create a personal Verified by Visa password. Please contact your issuing bank for further information.
Q. Can I use Verified by Visa from any computer?
A. Verified by Visa works with just about any computer that’s connected to the Internet. There is no special software to install. Once you activate your card, you’ll continue to shop as usual, and your Visa card number will be automatically recognized at checkout. Just enter your Verified by Visa password and complete the regular checkout process.
Activating your Visa card
Q. How do I know activation is secure and safe?
A. VISA understand that many people are reluctant to enter their credit card numbers in unfamiliar places online, but guarantees that you can be rest assured that your personal and payment card information is transmitted by Visa using a high level of encryption (SSL) and is stored on a secure server behind a firewall to protect against unauthorized access. For more details, check the Visa privacy policy on Also, your Visa card issuer will have additional privacy and security policies-you might also like to check out their website too. You can access them during the Verified by Visa activation process.
Q. What are the Verified by Visa password requirements (number of characters, numbers, upper case, etc.)?
A. Password requirements are determined by each Visa card issuer. Contact your bank/Visa card issuer to learn more about its password requirements.
Shopping with Verified by Visa
Q. How do I shop with Verified by Visa?
A. When you pay with your Visa card, the Verified by Visa service launches automatically at participating online stores. After you enter your Visa card number and submit your order, a Verified by Visa window will appear and your card issuer will display an authentication page. Enter your information and password and click submit. Once your identity is verified, your checkout continues.
Q. Where can I shop using Verified by Visa?
A. Wherever you see the Verified by Visa symbol, you know you can shop with an added layer of security. Whenever you use your activated card to pay at participating online stores, your Visa card number will automatically be recognized and the Verified by Visa password window will appear. Your password will be required to complete the purchase.
Q. What is a Personal Message?
A. Your Personal Message, selected during activation, appears automatically in the Verified by Visa password screen during checkout. It’s an extra piece of validation to assure you that this is indeed an authentic Verified by Visa window and that it’s safe to enter your password here. You should always check to see that your Personal Message appears correctly.
Q. What if I forget my password?
A. Just click the “Forgot your password” link in the Verified by Visa password window and follow the instructions provided by your Visa card issuer. Always be sure to keep your password safe and never write it down.


Q. What should I do if someone has obtained my Verified by Visa password or has used it to make a fraudulent purchase?
A. If you ever suspect that a fraudulent purchase has been made using your Visa account, contact your bank/Visa card issuer immediately.
For additional help: You may also contact VISA via email: VISA advises that you should not include your debit/credit card number in your email inquiry.


Excerpts from the book titled:
Safeguarding yourself and business from fraud in a cashless society

By: Abdulazeez Idiaro


For over 5 years (a member of Fladio International Nigeria Limited) has provided web solutions and advertising for public and private sectors. Our main division is Computer and Information Technology. Thanks to our flexible approach towards the development of new solutions, we have often been at the inception of digital revolution and incorporating the most recent technologies. When you partner with, you are associating with one of Africa’s best company for your ICT needs, we are the 1st Nigerian Company listed on the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) ECOBIZ computer session in 2010. Focusing on quality, reliability and design of our products and services has brought us customers and partnership with local and Multinational Companies such as United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Interswitch Limited, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc among others. Our current customer portfolio covers individuals, companies and Government agencies across the globe including Nigeria, India, United Kingdom, Mozambique and United States of America.

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