Well, I'll be happy to tell you what it is. You'll have to be the judge, however, as to whether I'm an enlightened "man full of wisdom" as my wife would probably argue that point from time to time LOL.
In all seriousness though, Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode are Cardholder Authentication technologies. They are sponsored by the actual Card Associations (Visa & MasterCard) and they represent one of the few solutions that has been promoted by the Card Associations that is truly merchant-centric in its focus.
The bottom line benefit that they provide is that they provide merchants with a much higher degree of security on transactions that they process through these tools by reducing the amount of fraudulent orders that are accepted and by even providing merchants with liability protection in certain cases.
For instance, Visa provides merchants with complete liability protection against roughly 60% of the allowed chargeback reason codes if the transaction is processed using Verified By Visa. That means that any of the common "I didn't do it" "I didn't authorize it" chargebacks are attempted on the account, they will not even reach the merchant and so there won't be any chargeback at all. This is true even if the cardholder is not enrolled in the VBV service with their bank!
MasterCard works in a similiar manner but does not currently provide liability protection to merchants for non-enrolled cardholder transactions. However, this may change in the relatively near future which would make a good thing even better.
Best of all, implementing VBV/MSC doesn't result in the kinds of false declines generated with some other fraud detection technologies. Stated simply, there just isn't any reason why implementing it should reduce the number of legitimate sales. If a cardholder is not enrolled, the order process can skip right to the next step. If they are enrolled, it will prompt for their password prior to moving on... which takes only another 10-15 seconds to enter.
The only limitation to be aware of with VBV/MSC, which is relevant to the Web hosting industry, is that recurring transactions are currently not given direct liability protection. However, even with that limitation - which also may be refined over time by the Associations - it does make it much easier and more effective to perform a chargeback rebuttal if you can demonstrate a positive VBV/MSC response on the initial transaction.
Last but not least... if you do want to get setup with VBV/MSC, you'll need to make sure that the payment gateway you are using supports it and find out if your merchant account needs to be configured differently as some gateways require your account to be configured on a specific "front-end" network in order to make use of the service. In addition, you'll want to make sure that your billing software, shopping cart or custom e-commerce app also supports the VBV/MSC process through your given gateway.
Hope that info is helpful!
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