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Visa pop-up box confounds consumers

Online shoppers have been reluctant to enter card details into a security service, Verified by Visa (VbV), because the pop-up box that appears sparks fears of a scam.Many internet retailers have required that people verify their Visa cards when doing their shopping via a pop-up web page, but the Guardian reports that it has received numerous enquiries from confused cardholders who think that the site may be a scam.Although VbV has been in place for over four years and was developed to combat online card fraud, confusion has arisen recently as more major retailers and banks are using the system. Despite information campaigns, it seems that many Visa cardholders are still in the dark about the system, although HSBC has just announced its Visa holders will only be able to use their cards on the 12,000 websites that employ the VbV scheme after verification. Jon Varco, head of VbV told the Guardian: "The process is safe and has been introduced to make buying goods on the web safer. The verification page may look like a pop-up but it is in fact a whole new web page which actually comes from the user's bank. We have designed it like that to encourage buyers to sign up as they shop." Sandra Quinn, of the payments clearing body Apacs, said that the confusion may have arisen because customers seldom read the information leaflets that are sent out with bank statements.

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