Thursday, August 19, 2010

Going Paperless

A couple of weeks ago, my friend called and asked if he could use my credit card to purchase something online. I, of course, hesitated, what with all those ICT lectures involving phishing. Before agreeing to give him my card number, I had to check the site, and all the security measures I was vaguely familiar with were there (although I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for). I then clicked on the purchase page, and to my surprise, all it asked for was my credit card number and its CVV code. This was new to me because the last time I bought anything online (airline tickets, I think), it asked for so much information, like my name, billing address, telephone, and even mobile phone numbers. I was surprised as to how, now, only numbers are necessary to complete transactions. While it is true that, in reality, the same thing happens when I use my credit card for “personal” transactions, the seller is still better enabled to verify if the one using the card is really that card’s owner. Some establishments even ask for IDs, on top of the usual signature on the charge slip. I still think this kind of practice protects both the seller and the buyer-slash-card owner. On the one hand, the seller can verify that the one using the card is the actual cardholder, and that they will get paid. On the other, the buyer has a semblance of security that in case his or her card get stolen, it will not be that easy to use that card. Call me traditional, but I still prefer this to blind online transactions. However, one must adapt to the changing times, and I expect that in the coming days, I will have no choice but to engage in more and more online transactions.

1 comment:

Rachelle Ann T. Mayuga said...

Aside from verification.. The reason why some sites ask for A LOT MORE information from you (compared to others) is so they could compile data about their purchasers. Find out the gender from the name, find out general location from the mobile number, etc. etc. Gives them much to analyze. Scary, actually.