The Major card schemes have set out to tackle online Card Fraud and have introduced something akin to Chip and Pin for use by online merchants like us. Eventually all affiliated card issuers (there are thousands of them world-wide) will be enforcing one or the other of these schemes and since we always want the best possible security for our customers, we became an early adopter of the standards.
The schemes go by the names 'Verified by Visa' or 'MasterCard SecureCode' depending on which of the major card companies your card issuer is affiliated. The term coined by our Payement Service Provider (Protx), is 3D Secure.
Since only Maestro are currently mandating the system, we've only set our system to apply the scheme to that card type. However, at the flick of a switch we can turn on the facility for all other card types we accept and we look forward to the time when all card issuers force its use because we think it will have a huge impact on credit card fraud.
SO, HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?
As a cardholder you can sign up to your card issuers scheme. If you do that, then during the checkout, you are sent directly to your own Card Issuers website where you will be asked to confirm by some means (password, secret question etc.) that you are the genuine cardholder. If that action is successful, your card issuer tells us we can proceed with the transaction. If anyone had stolen your card details they would not be able to complete this stage and so the transaction would fail. This stops anyone buying fraudulently from our site with your card. Once all merchants operate this way, it effectively means the no-one could use your card except you. In theory, the end of credit card fraud.
Our checkout has now been upgraded to handle all the new rules. We of course always have used 128 bit encryption for all card data transmission and we don't hold your card details - once a payment transaction is complete the card details vaporise so there is nothing left worth stealing even if the many layers of our security were breached.
Already we have seen the benefits of the systems we've deployed and we hope you do too.