Verified by Visa

Tamsen Butler
Online Shopping

Verified by Visa is a program offered through Visa that adds extra protection to the safety features already offered for online shopping. While existing security features offered to cardholders limit liability in the event of fraudulent use, this safeguard attempts to prevent the fraudulent activity from occurring in the first place.

Verified by Visa Program

This program allows Visa cardholders to create passwords that must be used in order to make purchases with certain online merchants. This means that even if someone else gets access to your credit card number, he or she will be unable to use the card online at some websites without additional access to your unique password.

After enrolling in Verified by Visa, every attempt at an online purchase with a participating merchant using your Visa card will result in a pop-up window originating from Visa that requests your password. The pop-up window will also feature your personalized message to let you know that the pop-up is legitimate. You will not be able to proceed with the online purchase without inputting the password even if you have sufficient funds available to make the purchase.

It does not matter what computer you attempt to make the online purchase from; any online purchase with the registered Visa card will require a password as long as the online merchant participates in this program. It is easy to find out if a merchant participates. Just look for the Verified by Visa logo on the merchant's main page or at the virtual shopping cart.

Other Purchases

This security feature only pertains to online purchases made with your enrolled Visa card. You will not be asked for your password when attempting to make purchases in person at a checkout. You should also not be asked for your password when making purchases over the telephone with your Visa. If you are asked for your password by a customer service representative, do not provide this information. You should protect this information just as you do any other password or personal identification number.

How to Activate Enrollment

This security program is available to most Visa cardholders, but each card must be individually activated by the cardholder. If you are the primary cardholder and register your Visa, it does not automatically register additional cards.

Activate your card by visiting the activation website and entering your credit card information. You must enter your credit card number in order to be enrolled, but the activation website is a secure site that requires the user to input a security code in order to proceed. This extra feature ensures that it is actually the cardholder providing the information and not a computer program designed to hack into credit card accounts.

Extra Protection

Programs like these can put some consumers at ease, particularly those who are generally apprehensive about providing credit card information online. On the other hand, some online shoppers prefer to not deal with additional pop-ups or the need to learn another password. Whether a cardholder enrolls in this program or not, Visa's Zero Liability policy still applies to fraudulent purchases made with the card.

Enrollment in this program is voluntary. Not every Visa card is eligible for enrollment, because eligibility is based on the financial institution issuing the card. Find out if your Visa card is eligible and learn more about the potential pros and cons of this program by visiting the official Visa website or by speaking to a customer service representative.

Verified by Visa