Emirates swipes Visa to boost e-bookings

The US$3.6 billion Emirates Airlines has joined over 17,500 online merchants to adopt the latest e-commerce security solution, ‘Verified by Visa’ (VbV). The move will enhance security for the increasing number of passengers who book online.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  June 20, 2004

The US$3.6 billion Emirates Airlines has joined over 17,500 leading global merchants to adopt the latest e-commerce security solution, ‘Verified by Visa’ (VbV). The move will further consolidate Emirates in the field of e-commerce as well as enhance security for the increasing number of passengers who book online. According to Visa, the initiative by Emirates comes at a time when the annual turnover of e-transactions by regional Visa cardholders rose 60% over the previous year, proving that more cardholders are now comfortable paying over the internet. “We have chosen to strengthen our online booking facilities with secure and sophisticated technologies. The adoption of VbV by Emirates is both strategic and timely and will further enhance the airline’s services by creating a safer environment for e-transactions,” says Joshua Koshy, Emirates’ senior vice president – IT. The airline went live with VbV earlier this month, launching the service in the UAE and New Zealand. A full rollout in Australia, the United States and 16 other countries has now been completed. Emirates Airlines is targeting its 10.4 million passengers, who bought their tickets mostly through travel agents to instead book online for convenience. “Emirates’ decision to go with VbV is of great significance to the region’s e-landscape. As one of the most prominent companies to adopt VbV technology, Emirates is setting the trend for future Middle East merchants to further consolidate the region’s e-marketplace,” says David Treadgold, operations manager for Visa International. The retailer’s benefits of using VbV include reduced costs, guarantee of payment while cardholder confidence is increased, and greater profitability through increased sales. “Despite the strong global trend towards online purchasing, studies show that some consumers are still worried about cyber security. We believe that this scenario will change significantly with VbV by enhancing consumer confidence and facilitating larger volume of transactions,” adds Treadgold. Visa claims an average VbV transaction is 42% larger than a non-VbV transaction. The payment company attributes this to its 3D Secure technology, which powers its Verified by Visa (VbyV) initiative. Merchants adopting VbyV can authenticate the cardholder’s identity through a consumer password (PIN) provided by the issuing bank. The bank notifies the e-merchant through Visa in real time that the buyer is the actual cardholder, thus reducing the number of disputed transactions. Consumers too can safely make e-payments knowing the merchant is legitimate and thus further eliminating fraud promises Visa.

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