Visa Europe Testing A Reciprocal Authentication Card

In a trial initially limited to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Israel and Italy, Visa Europe is starting a trial this month of a card with an 8-digit alphanumeric display, 12-button keyboard and a long-life battery, according to a report in The Nilson Report, a respected credit card industry newsletter.

The card has the ability to offer reciprocal authentication, which is designed to allow consumers "making transactions via phone or the Web a way to identify the party on the other end before transmitting identifying credentials," the report said. Such a card could be extremely useful to E-Commerce efforts to thwart phishing sites set up to harvest credit card data from unsuspecting consumers visiting look-alike fraudulent Web sites.