Ryanair buys in to Visa verification

Airline operator Ryanair is planning to implement Visa's online payment authentication service on its Web site, hoping to reduce...

Airline operator Ryanair is planning to implement Visa's online payment authentication service on its Web site, hoping to reduce charge-backs and to support further expansion across Europe.

The company, which operates 89 routes across 14 countries, is the largest retailer to have signed up to the Verified by Visa service to date. The system could save UK retailers up to £55m a year by reducing the number of e-commerce disputes by 80%, Visa said.

Ryanair will no longer be responsible for fraudulent transactions - the liability shifts to the issuing bank. This, and the expected reduction in charge-backs, are the key drivers behind the implementation, which is due to go live at the end of the month, said Ray Hernan, Ryanair financial controller.

"The liability shift is the little bit of carrot we needed to implement now," he said. "The main benefit will be the reduction in charge-backs. We have always had an aggressive anti-fraud policy and we see this as an add-on to current processes."

Improving online security will allow Ryanair to expand its customer base to include more countries, Hernan said. "Anything that boosts people's confidence is good and [should] allow us to sell to more countries."

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