Visa Offers Electronic Wallet Service to European Banks

[London, ENGLAND] Visa International announced Tuesday an
electronic wallet service that will enable its issuing banks
in Europe to provide secure authentication services to their
cardholders.

The aim is to cut down on fraud — a major problem in all
credit card usage — as well as to build consumer confidence
in electronic commerce.

“By providing a server-based wallet service, Visa is ensuring
that all of our members, from the smallest to the largest,
will have access to an easy-to-implement, cost effective solution
for providing authentication services to cardholders,” said
Jon Prideaux, executive vice president, Virtual Visa.

The new service will cost banks US $50,000 to enroll, together
with an annual fee of $20,000, plus payments on a per usage basis.

Visa’s wallet system uses the so-called Three Domain Model
which allows banks to determine how cardholders and merchants
become authenticated, including the selection of chip technology,
digital certificates, and passwords. To enable this flexibility,
Europe is introducing a common standard called SET 1.0 Secure
Electronic Transaction.

First to use the Visa electronic wallet service will be
Bankgesellschaft Berlin. Hans-Juergen Torkler, managing
director of its card service said the choice for the bank
was very straightforward.

“We are committed to providing our cardholders a high level
of Internet security — and the 3-Domain SET model is the
only secure solution at this point in time. Using Visa’s services
means that we can make this happen sooner rather than later,
and also meet our own internal costing requirements,” said Torkler.

The Visa electronic wallet lets cardholders use their wallet
from any access device, including PDAs and mobile phones, because
it stores the security software on a server rather than on the
user’s PC.

Experts believe there will be a huge surge in the use of
consumer e-commerce as soon as users become completely
confident of using online payment systems.

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