Consumers using Visa credit or debit cards to pay for goods and services online will soon need to use a one-time passcode sent directly to their mobile.
New EU rules introduced are causing banks to move away from passwords for security, towards a new system using the one-time passcodes, also known as two-factor authentication.
Visa claims that the new system will make payments much more secure for all their customers and help to alleviate payment card fraud.
Customers worried about poor mobile signal, or those that do not have mobile devices will be able to ask their bank for an alternative such as questions or passwords if they are unable to use text message authentication for payments.
First Direct bank, owned by HSBC, is the first to inform customers of the new system which will be rolled out to all visa-operated cards in the UK.
Visa operates card payments at most banks and businesses in Britain and Visa cards are responsible for a third of all payments made in the UK, so the changes will certainly be widespread.
A Visa spokesperson said: ‘The payments industry is no exception in looking to enhance security for customers. At Visa, we recently introduced a new rule designed to encourage card issuers to move away from the use of passwords which will strengthen authentication for online payments, and this means that customers will increasingly see the use of one-time passcodes when they make online payments with a Visa card.’
They continued: ‘Although all Visa card-issuing banks will support this increased level of security, alternatives are available should customers feel uncomfortable or unable to use a one-time password. Customers should contact their card-issuing bank to discuss their options.’
The changes come soon after Visa encountered huge problems last month with many customers in the UK and Europe unable to make payments.