HSBC offers credit card authentication system

HSBC is to offer its retail customers a new service to authenticate card payments online and help reduce disputed transactions, a...

HSBC is to offer its retail customers a new service to authenticate card payments online and help reduce disputed transactions, a problem which has cost UK retailers tens of millions of pounds annually.

The high-street bank's merchants will use software from ClearCommerce to authenticate and record card-not-present transactions made online or over the phone, via a Web portal developed by the bank.

The service, which is being tested by a small number of HSBC's 70,000-plus merchants, will integrate with the main payment standards from Visa and Mastercard. It is due to be launched in spring.

Paul Baker, HSBC senior project manager, said without a proper authentication system there is no way to prove that the cardholder has shopped at a merchant's Web site as there is no audit trail.

"We looked at finding a partner that would support all the payment standards on the market and also agile enough to keep up with Internet security standards," he said.

Previously HSBC provided limited card payment services for its merchants by using specialist software suppliers.

So far, however, retailers have been slow to adopt the payment authentication standards pushed by the card giants. Concerns have been raised that members will be saddled with the extra cost of having to link their systems to a raft of competing online payment standards.

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