Online shopping in the UAE is on the rise and with it comes an increased risk of credit-card fraud through stolen data.
According to an online survey by MasterCard, reported by The National in January, 42 per cent of respondents in the UAE said they shop on the internet. This is up from 29 per cent in 2009.
The outlook for online shopping in the Emirates is also positive, with 69 per cent of people saying they are likely to make an online purchase in the first half of this year, compared with 62 per cent in the previous corresponding year.
However, MasterCard's survey, conducted in the final quarter of 2010, also highlighted concerns about data security: 45 per cent of people said they don't feel secure shopping online.
Banks are increasing their efforts to protect customers, including Emirates NBD (ENBD), the country's biggest lender by assets, which has launched a new service called DoubleSecure in partnership with Visa and MasterCard.
Designed to increase the security of existing ENBD credit and debit cards, DoubleSecure allows cardholders to add another layer of security with an additional password when they carry out online transactions.
"With the highest focus on offering extensive protection against fraud on its debit and credit cards, Emirates NBD strives to ensure stress-free online transactions and customer peace of mind," says R Sivaram, the head of cards business at ENBD.
"Given the increasing use of cards online, we believe it is important to add an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorised use.
"DoubleSecure requires customers to confirm their identity as the authorised cardholder and ensures that the purchase can be completed only with password protection."
The service is available on merchant sites that display the logos "Verified by Visa" and "MasterCard SecureCode", global anti-fraud systems employed by the card payment giants.
"Even if a customer's card has been misplaced, DoubleSecure ensures that online purchases can only be completed by the rightful owner of the card, since only the owner knows the personalised password," Mr Sivaram says.
ENBD says enrolment in DoubleSecure is a simple process and can be completed by following the instructions while making a transaction on a participating merchant website.
Steps include entering an eight-digit authentication code that is sent to the customer's mobile number and the creation of a unique eight-character personal password.
"Innovations such as DoubleSecure enable cardholders to shop without borders, safe in the knowledge that their transaction is secure," says Kamran Siddiqi, the general manager for Visa Middle East.
For more information go to www.emiratesnbd.com.