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Credit card PIN a must for online shopping from August 1

If you’re an online shopaholic, make sure you have a personal identification number (PIN)/password for your credit or debit cards. Otherwise, forget about using them for internet shopping from August 1.

A recent directive by the Reserve Bank of India makes it mandatory to have an additional authentication passcode verified by Visa or MSC (Mastercard Secure Code). This is in addition to the other information already on the card like name, card number, expiry date and CVV (card verification value) number.

So how do you get this new password? Credit/debit card users have to register online with their banks, giving personal and card details. They will then be given a PIN or password to be be used as an additional layer of security at the checkout point before completion of the transaction.

This will be known to the card holder only. So, even if somebody notes your card number, he can’t misuse it for online shopping.

With the date fixed for RBI directive to take effect getting close, banks are loaded with thousands of requests for additional authentication. Some are allowing customers to create passwords on their websites while others are busy sending fresh user IDs and passwords to customers via post. Some banks like Citibank are allowing customers to use net banking password as their password for e-commerce transactions.

“We have already started the process of making the consumer aware of the service using text message alerts, e-mails and advertisements. Having started the process much ahead, we are well equipped to implement the process fully,” said a spokesperson of ICICI Bank.

In fact, ICICI Bank has gone one step ahead. While generating 6-digit PIN as an additional security layer, it also asks its customer to type a message, known as personal assurance message (PAM) on the same web-page. This PAM is known only to customers. When you type your credit card number on the merchant’s website, it will take you to the bank’s website to complete the transaction, where you need to type in the PIN.

Prabhu Rangam, AGM (IT), State Bank of India, says, ‘‘SBI has already accommodated the required change. Our debit cards are PIN based, so they may not require another layer of security.’’ However, in case of credit card, the customers have to apply for PIN.

Industry observers feel that although RBI directive may be a dampener for e-commerce industry initially, in a few months it would help the space to grow faster as it will deter online frauds.

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