Bank of Ireland modifies its ‘verified by Visa’ system

Customers will now receive a pass code by text message rather than have a password

Bank of Ireland has introduced changes to its "verified by Visa" online security system, which has been the subject of criticism from some customers.

Verified by Visa is designed to protect credit or debit cards from unauthorised use online. It enables people to verify they are the actual cardholder in a similar way to keying in a pin number at a point of sale.

According to Visa and Mastercard, more than 30 per cent of all payment card transactions are carried out online.

The verified by Visa interface is launched through the retailer’s website and interacts with both the cardholder and their card issuer. When customers are checking out, a window appears asking them to enter a unique, personal code that has been registered with their bank or card issuer.


The bank then authenticates the cardholder and provides the shop with evidence of the online purchase.

A spokeswoman for Bank of Ireland said on Thursday that the way the system works has been changed. New pass codes are now to be issued for each individual purchase.

“We are making some changes to our existing 3D Secure Service, known as verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode,” she said. “The change we are making is introducing one time pass codes which will be phased in across our card products from July 5th.

“This means when purchasing online from a participating retailer and authentication is required the customer will be prompted to enter the one-time pass code sent to their mobile phone by SMS text message to complete their purchase.

“One-time pass codes are different each time, and therefore are more secure. It also means customers no longer need to register and use the same password each time.”

The unique six-digit code will be texted directly to the customer’s mobile when they shop online from a participating retailer.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter