Data Security

Trust: The Most Important Feature

At Visa, nothing is more important to us than security, building trust within our network and keeping consumers and their personal information safe. Fraud rates have declined by more than two-thirds in the past two decades and are now at near historic lows.

Globally, fewer than 6 cents of every $100 transacted on Visa cards are lost to fraud. And when fraud does occur, Visa credit and debit cardholders in the U.S., Canada and Asia Pacific are protected through Visa's Zero Liability policy 1.

Ahead of the Criminal Curve

Over the past two years, Visa has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on data security enhancements, and we are committed to making the investments necessary to remain ahead of the criminal curve.

Network-Level Protection

Visa's state-of-the-art processing network, VisaNet, has multiple defense layers to prevent network intrusions, protect against account fraud and render stolen card data unusable for criminals. Those defense layers include data encryption, sophisticated intrusion detection and fraud monitoring tools capable of analyzing each transaction in real-time.

Advanced Authorization

In many places around the globe, we are able to leverage the robust network infrastructure to its fullest advantage through Visa Advanced Authorization. When a Visa card is swiped, Advanced Authorization provides a real-time rating of that transaction's potential for fraud to the card issuer, including whether it was part of a reported data security compromise. The issuer can respond immediately to the merchant whether to accept or decline the transaction. The ability to "see" all VisaNet transactions in real-time helps stop fraud at the checkout - before it takes place.

Chip Technologies

Chip technologies add an important security layer to transactions, bringing convenience and speed to cardholders and merchants. Visa supports the rollout of chip technology globally. Chip technology enables dynamic data authentication, meaning certain data values change with every transaction, making stolen information less valuable to criminals. Thanks to the flexibility of chip technology, we're seeing market interest in mobile payments. In fact, we believe chip technology offers an avenue to introduce significant innovation into payments.

Verified by Visa

For Visa payments such as eCommerce, in which the card is not present at the point of sale, Visa employs several tools to help eCommerce merchants avoid fraud. Verified by Visa is a simple-to-use service that confirms the cardholder's identity for eCommerce transactions. New enhancements now allow issuers to prompt for only the riskiest transactions, streamlining the checkout experience while adding an extra layer of security.

Alerts and Notifications

Visa empowers cardholders to take an active role in managing their spending and protecting their accounts. VisaNet can provide near real-time transaction alerts and notifications by email or text message whenever a registered Visa card is used for a purchase or to withdraw cash from an ATM - often arriving while the receipt is printing. Such alerts can provide cardholders with a warning of unauthorized use, limiting the potential for fraud or stopping it altogether.


1Does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Individual provisional credit amounts are provided on a provisional basis and may be withheld, delayed, limited, or rescinded by the cardholder's issuer based on factors such as gross negligence or fraud, delay in reporting unauthorized use, investigation and verification of claim and account standing and history. The cardholder must notify their financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. Transaction at issue must be posted to the account before provisional credit may be issued. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult the issuer.

Our Business

Visa's network connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions around the world. Read more...

Industry Resources

Find links to helpful industry resources and organizations for further background on electronic payments. Read more...

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Protecting the Payment System
Protecting the Payment System

Learn more about our comprehensive approach to security.

Visa in the News: Cards&Payments

Hear from Visa's Ellen Richey in Cards&Payments about how Visa works to deter fraud. Read more...