Barclaycard first to offer Visa e-verification in UK

Confidence in Internet trading received a boost this week when an online payment service from Visa gained its first high-profile...

Confidence in Internet trading received a boost this week when an online payment service from Visa gained its first high-profile UK customer.

Barclaycard Merchant Services has announced that it will offer the Verified by Visa payment authentication service free of charge to all its 83,000 customers.

Online retailers that use the service, which was launched earlier this year, will no longer be liable for disputed e-commerce payments. Visa estimates that this shift in liability could save UK retailers up to £55m a year by reducing the amount of disputed transactions by as much as 80%.

Bill Thomson, head of Internet payments at Barclaycard Merchant Services, said, "Verified by Visa provides a simple, cost-effective solution in guaranteeing online payments, helping to boost cardholder confidence in Internet shopping. In doing so, it helps to increase revenue for our merchants."

However, some retail industry figures have warned that they could face spiralling IT costs by having to link to separate online payment services from competing credit card providers.

These costs would include linking their electronic point of sale systems to the new breed of payment authentication systems.

If banks choose to integrate the Visa payment service into their banking systems this would also mean extra work for IT departments. Visa has said it should take about two weeks for a retailer to install Verified by Visa.

The Verified by Visa service, which was launched first in the US, is run as a managed service by BT Ignite, BT's international and broadband solutions business. The service uses digital certificates and is based around technology called 3-D secure, which was developed by BT Ignite and software supplier Arcat.

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