Passports and Visas

Microsoft hopes to extend its Passport online identification system into authorizing credit card payments.

The software giant will strike a partnership Tuesday with security-software maker Arcot Systems, which builds online payment systems for merchants and for banks that issue Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Arcot makes the systems behind Visa's own Verified by Visa program as well as a similar program in development at MasterCard.

Under the deal, Microsoft and Arcot plan to offer, later this year, a service that will let banks require computer users to type in their Passport username and password to authenticate Visa or MasterCard credit cards.

"It's good for Microsoft because up until now, no one stood behind the authenticity of the (Passport) identities. You can register as easily as 'Donald Duck' as you can with your real name," Litan said. "Now (Passport users) are linked to credit card companies. There is going to be a bank or credit card issuer standing behind the identity."

Microsoft has always offered an option for people to store their credit card information on Passport, but only 14 percent of Passport users did, because they didn't feel the system was secure enough, Litan said. "People will start trusting the system now that it's linked to credit cards and has protection by Visa and MasterCard," Litan said.

Will they? Would you?

News source: c|net

View: Microsoft eyes Visa users with Passport

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