Really, Visa? You’re Counting On Banks For

Written by Frank Hayes
November 15th, 2012

Visa officially went live with its online payment service on Tuesday (Nov. 13), and there’s a lot to be underwhelmed about. After a year of testing the service—in which customers type in a login and password at an E-Commerce site and have all their payment and delivery information automatically filled in—’s marquee E-tailers are and, along with about two dozen more. Visa has also lined up 50 banks (the best known is U.S. Bank) with a total of about 55 million card customers.


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none of that may matter, because Visa is counting on the banks to promote to their customers. Yes, the same banks who have sent millions of contactless cards to their customers without telling them they were contactless cards—that’s who Visa believes can convince cardholders to use a service they’ve never heard of instead of PayPal and Amazon. The likelihood they’ll ever hear about it in a meaningful way from their card-issuing bank? Just slightly less than’s infinitesimal chances.


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
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The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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