MasterCard Allies VeriSign
MasterCard and VeriSign have entered into an alliance that will allow VeriSign customers to access MasterCard's Universal Cardholder Authentication Field (UCAF).
UCAF is the infrastructure that allows merchants to verify cardholder identity. MasterCard's alliance with VeriSign is about taking UCAF online, to a broader number of constituents. VeriSign is involved in roughly a quarter of all online transactions and already does business with a large number of online merchants, a community with which MasterCard would like to make inroads.
From MasterCard's perspective, it's a continuation of company strategy, putting existing tools to better use in an e-business environment.
Meanwhile, online merchants -- especially smaller ones -- can rest easier knowing that UCAF deployment reduces their risks. Without UCAF, it's the merchant who has to pick up the tab for a fraudulent transaction. With UCAF, card-issuing banks assume liability. MasterCard hopes that removing that particular risk from e-commerce will encourage more merchants to come online.
MasterCard also has relationships with other payment security companies, like Cyota. For its part, VeriSign works with MasterCard archrival Visa in a relationship going back to 1999.