Payment association Apacs has released figures showing ‘around 10m’ UK shoppers have registered their credit and debit cards with MasterCard and Visa’s online verification schemes.

The group says more retailers have also adopted the Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode systems, which remove their liability if fraudulent transactions take place and are reported to help increase average order values.

Launched several years ago, the schemes can be used by consumers as added protection when shopping at participating sites such as BA.com, Dixons, lastminute.com and PC World.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said:

“The key to tackling online fraud is prevention, which is why the government supports industry initiatives such as Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode, which are designed to make online transactions even more secure.

“I am pleased to see the industry introducing such measures and urge cardholders to sign up to these protective schemes.”

Research issued by Apacs last year found that while overall card fraud losses had decreased, internet, phone and mail order fraud had continued to grow. But studies suggest etailers are increasing their investment in anti-fraud measures.

Sandra Quinn of Apacs added:

“To help boost general public awareness and understanding about MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, APACS has launched a

consumer advice guide (pdf)

 explaining the registration process and security benefits in more detail.”

Related stories:
SMEs ‘put off e-commerce’ by fraud worries

Related research:
Online fraud roundtable briefing, November 2005