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Visa Launches Secure E-Commerce Initiative

Visa International launched a new global e-commerce initiative that it says "will make Internet shopping better and safer for both buyers and sellers on the Web."

The initiative is expected to reduce Internet transaction disputes by up to 50 percent, Visa said.

The global Visa Secure e-Commerce Initiative includes two major components:

The Payment Authentication Program is designed to reduce the risk of unauthorized use of a cardholder account and to improve customer service for buyers and sellers on the Web.

The Global Data Security Program is aimed at establishing standards and best practices for e-commerce merchants allowing them to better ensure the security of cardholder data on their sites

"As the global leader in online payments, Visa is absolutely committed to helping the Web reach its full potential as a new channel for commerce," said Visa International President and Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Williamson. "We believe this new initiative will help do that by combining state-of-the art technology, global standards and best practices, and the promise of the Visa brand."

The Payment Authentication Program is based on a new "3-Domain" model, which uses a globally interoperable approach to authentication. The model provides participants with confidence that an Internet transaction has been conducted by legitimate parties, thus reducing the potential for disputes.

Visa's European region deployed the 3-Domain model for implementation of server-based SET (Secure Electronic Transactions) today in the European Union marketplace, with full implementation scheduled for 2001. The Visa Latin America and Caribbean region has also recently endorsed the 3-Domain model for server-based SET. And, Visa U.S.A. will pilot a new 3-Domain SSL-based (Secure Socket Layer) authentication protocol beginning this summer.

The 3-Domain model provides options to authenticate the payment online, protect the privacy of transmissions, and ensure that data in transmission remains unchanged. Visa said the model would also work with new payment products and channels, including chip cards, mobile phones, personal digital assistants and set-top boxes.

The Global Data Security Program, to be rolled out later this year, will include a series of standards and guidelines for e-commerce transactions that both buyers and sellers should follow, Visa said. Additionally, a self-certification tool will be available to help merchants evaluate and improve the security of their sites.