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Ryanair beefs up payments security

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Low-cost airline Ryanair has launched a new consumer verification security system on the website. The system offers increased security when making bookings and is delivered through CardinalCommerce’s Centinel technology platform.

The new system has been introduced across all Ryanair markets and is intended to provide consumers with enhanced fraud protection during the payment process – and to reduce the risk of fraud for Ryanair.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “Ryanair is continually striving to improve the customer experience of our 81.5m passengers and we have introduced a new consumer verification system on our website.”

The security system deploys Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode to help authenticate consumers in card-not-present transactions that are a feature of ecommerce. CNP transactions present the greatest risk of fraud to ecommerce because merchants are unable to validate that their consumers are the legitimate accountholders. Because of this lack of authentication, ecommerce merchants currently bear full risk and liability for transactions they accept.

Cardinal Centinel payment authentication services addresses the problem with a password-based authentication solution that guarantees payment and eliminates fraud liability.

Ryanair has focused upon balancing security with ease of use. They replaced the standard reCaptcha system (designed to stop third parties from screen-scraping its price and availability information by requiring a human user to interpret snippets from old books and print sources that have been digitally obscured – see Ryanair moved to an adaptive system from Solvemedia that dynamically assesses from the on-site behaviour the probability that a user is a human or a screen-scraper and then adapts the Captcha question accordingly. “Real” humans get a quicker, less obtrusive security challenge while ‘bots’ are given a tough time (you can read more at,

InternetRetailing says: Payment effectiveness and efficiency is again the focus of commercial optimisation. For established sites where the offer is very clear, the customer is savvy and experienced, payment protection has to be sufficient to prevent loss (especially on low-margin, high-value transactions) while also reducing cart abandonment (equally damaging to high ticket, low margin products). InternetRetailing’s upcoming Jumpstart on multichannel payments is on 25 September in London and further information and booking can be found on the event page).

Edited: on 28 August 2013 to note that Ryanair are using Solvemedia’s solution rather than reCaptcha.

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