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Visa Debuts Online Password Protection Service

Visa U.S.A. debuted an online password protection service yesterday called “Verified by Visa” that it said reduces the likelihood of cardholders becoming victims of online fraud.

The company said its Verified by Visa service enables issuing banks to validate a cardholder's identity through the use of a password during the online checkout process. Cardholders must register their credit cards with their issuing bank through a special Visa Web site at www.visa.com/verified and create a password before they can begin using the new service. There currently are seven banks participating in the program: Bank of America, Bank One, Elan, First USA, Firstar, SouthTrust Bank and USBank. Only cards issued by these banks are eligible to participate in the program, Visa said.

Once a password is created, cardholders can shop at 16 online retailers, including Buy.com, 800.com, Dell.com, Target.com, Priceline.com and MarshallFields.com, among others. When a consumer is ready to check out his purchases, he will be prompted for his password. His identity will then be verified by the issuing bank.

The service works with any of the latest Web browsers and is compatible with PCs running Microsoft's Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 operating systems.

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