The major credit card companies (MasterCard, Visa, American Express and JCB) now require authorization of all online payments using a system called 3D Secure in order to minimize credit card fraud.
The credit card companies determine if a transaction is considered "high risk" and needs additional customer information to proceed. Risk assessment will include a number of different factors (that are kept secret by the credit card companies).
If the credit card company decides that your transaction carries a high risk you may be asked security verification questions that may include one or all of these:
- Last four digits of Social Security Number
- Expiration Date of Card
- Billing Address zip code
Not all purchasers are asked these questions, only those that are considered high risk. Unfortunately online purchases for small amounts always carry a high risk as thieves often make small fake online purchases to see whether the card has been reported as stolen before attempting a larger purchase with the card in a physical store
If you are worried by the Credit Card companies request for proof of identity, you can pay using our PayPal option. If you are a verified PayPal member then PayPal can confirm your identity by your PayPal password.
It is annoying to have to (sometimes) pass security tests when ordering online. Higher security is becoming an increasing part of our everyday lives, but (as with most security measures) the 3D secure system exists to protect you if somebody steals your credit card, so there are benefits to you as well as the credit card companies.
If you want to learn more about 3D Secure there is a Wikipedia article here.