MasterCard is launching a two-pronged initiative to help e-tailers crack down on online crime.
The Site Data Protection scheme involves e-commerce vendors filling out a MasterCard questionnaire, which is then graded to produce a security rating. The company will also scan e-tailers' web sites to check for improper configuration or other security weaknesses.
The second part of the plan involves physical security measures such as chip and pin and the use of a pass code on credit card transactions, as well as a signature. It will be rolled out before January 2005.
Online fraud is a serious problem in the channel because IT equipment is a prime target. According to recent figures released by the Association of Payment Clearing Services, 'card not present' transactions over the internet increased by 68 per cent from £28m in 2002 to £45m last year.
Brian Morris, head of e-business solutions at MasterCard Europe, said: "We are very concerned about fraud. We have a duty to protect cardholders, merchants and banks, and we want to increase trust in shopping securely on the internet."
In addition, MasterCard is teaming up with security specialist Ubizen to offer security services. The credit card company is also working with insurance firm Marsh to provide e-commerce insurance services.
However, David Atherton, managing director of online reseller Dabs.com, said that despite anti-fraud measures by firms such as MasterCard and Visa, there is still some way to go.
"Fraud was a huge problem when payments were made offline because we didn't have the tools to check customer details.
"But now credit card companies are coming round to the right way of thinking and giving us the means to check details online," Atherton said.
"However, some major card issuers have not yet implemented any anti-fraud measures, which means there are still some loopholes for fraudsters."
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