Cardholders Play Important Role to Ensure Continued Safety and Security While Shopping Online
Visa Asia Pacific today announced that online spending by Visa cardholders’ at e-commerce merchants outside their home countries for the three months ended September exceeded US$377 million, representing 71 percent growth over the same period in 2004. The number of international online Visa card transactions also increased exponentially from 1.9 million in the third quarter of 2004 to more than 3.6 million for the same period in 2005, a 94 percent year-on-year gain.
Visa cardholders from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand and Australia were the top international online spenders. These markets contributed 58 percent to the total Visa card international online spending in Asia Pacific, or approximately $220 million.
Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines all saw growth of over 100 percent when compared with the same quarter in 2004.
When shopping at online merchants outside their home countries, Visa cardholders spent most on transport -about $109 million, an increase of 79 percent year on year. This was followed closely by retail and trade, at about $103 million, a 90 percent increase; professional and commercial services at about $63 million, an increase of 18 percent; education at about $26 million, up 50 percent; and sports and leisure at about $24 million, an increase of 83 percent.
Philip Yen, Visa Asia Pacific’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Product Group, said, “The rise in online shopping throughout Asia Pacific is part of a wider global trend that has seen online sales increase dramatically over the past few years. These figures demonstrate that the online environment makes it extremely easy for consumers to purchase goods and services while traveling or to shop overseas without leaving their homes.”
“Consumers and merchants are both contributing to this growth. For the consumers, the convenience and security that online shopping provides combined with their increasingly pressing need to manage time efficiently are the driving factors. For merchants, their recognition of the ease and speed that the online channel brings to their businesses contributes strongly to the rise in the number of online shops. Visa expects to see these figures continue to grow well into 2006 and beyond,” added Yen.
With Internet shopping increasing in popularity, it is more important than ever for consumers to protect themselves against online card fraud. As part of an initiative to combat fraud, Visa is urging online shoppers to protect themselves by signing up for Verified by Visa.
Verified by Visa is an easy-to-use password protected service that verifies a cardholder's identity during an online transaction. It helps to provide consumers and retailers with the same level of confidence as enjoyed in a face-to-face transaction. A free service to the cardholder, Verified by Visa provides proof that a genuine cardholder and a genuine Visa retailer are taking part in the transaction.
To protect themselves further, here are some online shopping tips for cardholders:
1. Use a secure web browser – look for an ‘s’ after the ‘http’ in the web page address or URL.
2. Keep your passwords secret as you would your PIN for ATM transactions.
3. Protect your card details – provide details only when making purchases.
4. Never send payment information via email. Most reputable merchant sites use encryption technologies that protect private data.
5. Keep a record of the transaction.
6. Review your monthly account statement thoroughly. Check all transactions, even the small ones, because criminals ‘test’ stolen accounts by buying inexpensive items first.
7. Promptly notify your financial institution of any suspicious transaction or email. And for extra peace of mind when making purchases this season:
8. Compare products and prices between shops for the best price and quality.
9. Check delivery and return policies
Note: The reported statistics are based on Visa spending processed and recognized by VisaNet as online transactions.
Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth.
In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined with 62 percent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using Visa cards. There are currently 265.9 million Visa-branded cards in the region. For the 12 months ended September 2005, S$509 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using Visa cards.