Today marks the launch of “Verified by VISA” for consumers, which gives consumers maximum protection against unauthorized card usage without changing their online shopping experience. The new service protects cardholders by allowing the issuing bank to confirm the shopper’s identity through use of a password during the online checkout process. To date, there are several online merchants on board to offer “Verified by VISA” to consumers, including Target.com, Priceline.com, tickets.com, CDNOW, among others. Issuing banks include Bank of America, First USA, Fleet Credit Card Services, Providian Financial, SouthTrust and SunTrust. Even though VISA cardholders are already backed by “Zero Liability” protection, “Verified by VISA” provides an extra precaution consumers can take to prevent unauthorized use of their cards. Consumers simply register with participating card issuing banks for personalized passwords or through www.visa.com/verified; they only register once, and no special software is required. After creating their passwords, VISA cardholders shop at participating online stores just as they do today. After hitting the “buy” button, cardholders will be prompted for their “Verified by VISA” passwords to confirm their identities with their card issuing banks. For more information: www.visa.com/verified.