Online shopping just got safer
The end of February 2014 marked another milestone for enhanced security of e-commerce payments in South Africa says Walter Volker, the CEO of The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA). “Over the last year, PASA has been working closely with South African banks and e-commerce merchants to assist them in implementing 3D Secure to help protect cardholders against unauthorised use of their cards when shopping online.”
The deadline for 3D Secure implementation was set for 28 February 2014.
3D Secure, also known as Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode or Amex Safekey, is an authentication service that allows only the cardholder to use the card when shopping online. With 3D Secure, the online credit or debit card payment is redirected to the bank’s 3D Secure service to facilitate an authentication process. If the shopper has already registered or has been registered by their bank, they will be prompted with an additional screen requesting an One Time PIN (OTP) which is sent to their cell phone or a PIN/Password they chose beforehand. In the exceptional circumstance that a first-time e-commerce user or new cardholder has not registered or been registered for the 3D Secure service, such cardholders will be prompted with a screen asking them to register for 3D Secure by following the on-screen prompts.
There has been a surge in online shopping in South Africa over the last few years and while the growth rate has been slower in comparison to some other nations, growth in broadband capabilities and access devices has made e-commerce increasingly more accessible. In fact, online shopping was worth about R59 billion in 2011‚ which equates to 2% of the economy and is expected to grow to about 2.5% by 2016*. With this growth, the need to protect online shopping has also risen.
“PASA is committed to enabling and facilitating processes that enhance the safety of e-commerce transactions, and with 3D Secure it allows customers to authenticate themselves while making an online payment, thereby minimising the risk of someone else using their card fraudulently,” adds Volker. “We have made significant efforts with the banks and e-commerce merchants to ensure implementation of 3D Secure and 91% of South African merchants have already implemented the solution. We will be working with the remaining merchants to ensure that they also move over to the safer system as soon as possible – as not only is it in the best interest of the consumer, but the merchants themselves.”
3D Secure will ensure a more uniform approach to e-commerce security. “We encourage cardholders to embrace the process and see this as an additional security measure to look out for when shopping online,” concludes Volker.