My bank recently started using the relatively new Verified By Visa system in it’s online payment systems and I’m bloody annoyed by it. Just in case you guys don’t have that system or are unfamiliar with it I’ll tell you what it says on their website.
Verified By Visa is a simple password-protected identity-checking service that takes the risk out of online retail.
Sounds good in theory eh? In practice you’ll be on a website and about to buy something when a pop-up that is styled like your own banks site asks you to enter a memorable date or name or any other piece of security information that you’ve given to your bank. You know, the details that they tell you never to give to anyone else as it makes you liable for anyone stealing your details and using them to wipe out your life savings. To make matters worse this only happens on websites that have opted into the scheme meaning it wont always ask you for those details on every site you buy things from.
I’m livid that this has been introduced in an age when people are constantly trying everything they can to steal people’s bank details. All those e-mails that get delivered straight to my spam purporting to be from my bank (not one has actually guessed my bank yet) and asking to re-enter details are obviously con jobs and that’s the first thing I thought of when that pop-up came up on my screen asking for my security details. Now that I’ve researched the scheme I know it’s real and I’ve double checked that both my bank (they never sent anything out warning customers to expect anything like this) and the site were part of it, but still didn’t buy anything from them.
The thing is, it’s oh so easy for a site to add their own pop-up styled like whatever banks they want and asking for these details. Yes, I researched the site and the bank as well as the system. Yes they’re both legitimately a part of it. And yes, there are thousands of people out there who will get used to a system like this and start to not think twice about handing over their bank details to whichever site asks them. It’s dangerous for consumers because if people have these pieces of information about you then they pretty much have unimpeded access to your bank account. And that’s why I wont be using any site that uses the Verified By Visa system.