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Visa Checkout and MasterPass: How To Use Them

May 5, 2015
3 mins
A pile of three credit cards

Have you ever started to make an online purchase and than decided to give up after having to click too many fields to complete the transaction? You’re not alone.

According to research firm eMarketer, nearly 70% of online transactions are “abandoned” at the checkout stage. The figure jumps to almost 90% for mobile transactions. A new system called Visa Checkout is intended to simplify the process.

One-stop paying

The idea behind Visa Checkout is that you only need to enter your payment and shipping information once, on Visa’s secure network, to then quickly and safely make purchases at a variety of websites.

Once you’ve registered an account you’ll only need to enter your user name and a six-character password to complete transactions on any site equipped with the Visa Checkout tab.

There are a number of Canadian sites already signed up, including the Running Room, Lululemon, Staples, Cineplex, and WestJet. Many of those are offering deals to help drive traffic, such as $25 off a $150 online purchase at the Running Room. Not a Visa cardholder? Not to worry, MasterCard has a similar program called the MasterPass. And, of course, there’s always PayPal as well.

Protect yourself when shopping online

In the past year, there have been number of massive credit card security breaches at major retailers, including Home Depot and Target. While consumers aren’t held liable for losses from security breaches, you are wise to take steps to protect yourself.

Be careful where you shop. There are numerous phishing sites set up to look like recognized retailers, but with typos in the name or a dot-net suffix. Legitimate commercial sites will have what’s called “secured sockets layer” (SSL) installed on their site. You can tell if it does because the URL begins “HTTPS:”, instead of simply “HTTP:”.

Install and regularly update antivirus software on your computer and clear your browser history before and after you make any purchases or do online banking. Lastly, don’t do transactions over public Wi-Fi networks, and make sure your own network at home is password protected.

Allan Britnell

Toronto-based freelancer Allan Britnell is an award-winning writer with nearly 20 years’ experience. He covers a diverse range of topics, including DIY and professional home renovation projects, nature and the environment, small business, personal finance, and family and health issues. He is also the managing editor of Renovation Contractor, the publication written for small- and medium-sized contracting and custom home building companies. He lives in Toronto with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Oscar.

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