Chip and pin-style system for online agent

Online flights specialist Alternative Airlines is trying to combat online fraud through additional verification technology on its website.

The ‘3D secure’ payment card authentication enables Alternative to accept more Visa and Mastercard payments through the site as the technology receives transactions via a complicated authentication process.

Prior to adoption of the ‘3D secure’ system the company was rejecting about 40% of booking attempts on the site because it could not fully verify them.

Managing director John Pope said: “There may have been nothing wrong with a lot of what we were rejecting but the cost of getting it wrong can be huge, thousands. This is the equivalent of chip and pin for online sales.”

Pope added that prior to the implementing the technology the company had been working on a point scoring system on the probability of whether a card was stolen or not.

“Now we’ll only process Visa and Mastercard payments where the card issuer is a member of the scheme so we’re pretty much 100% covered.”

The latest figures published by Deloitte show a five-fold increase in fraud related loss for airlines since 2000.

The study estimates credit card crime costs airlines on average around £500,000 annually, with weak IT security predominantly to blame. 

It also shows low-cost airlines are the hardest hit.

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