Just about me, and stuff...

Is Verified by Visa spying on me?

Something strange seems to be happening to me, I've noticed it a couple of times and got to the point where I'm now starting to keep notes. I'm forced to use Verified by Visa on my business account. I hate and despise Verified by Visa, over the years I've lost countless hours resetting passwords because […]

Something strange seems to be happening to me, I've noticed it a couple of times and got to the point where I'm now starting to keep notes.

I'm forced to use Verified by Visa on my business account. I hate and despise Verified by Visa, over the years I've lost countless hours resetting passwords because character 3 was a I and not l or whatever.  When I say I'm forced to use it, I had no option other than to register with this essentially useless service when I went to purchase something online. I wasn't allowed to complete my purchase until I'd registered my card 'for my security'. Verified by Visa doesn't make your transaction any more secure really, not like a VPN tunnel between your browser and the banks server, it is just another step in the process used on a few websites. If it was used across the board and was actually secure and providing value then great, but it isn't it's optional for the retailer and not really a barrier to online fraud.

I digress, now I've had my whingefest about it being crap, on to my real concern.

I use my card to purchase stuff online regularly, weekly, almost daily. I rarely get asked for the hated Verified by Visa password except for a minority of sites. On one particular site which I use randomly every couple of months so something odd happens.

I go to website x and purchase my goods, I get challenged by Verified by Visa, I complete the purchase. Then about an hour later I get some form of unsolicited contact from my bank, you could say it is coincidence but I don't think it is, I don't use this particular website on a set day of the week or month, it is sporadic and random but:

  • The first time I got an E-mail asking if I'd like a low rate personal loan from my bank
  • The second time I got a phone call from my local branch asking if I'd like a credit card for the business
  • Today I got an E-mail asking me if I'd like a customer loyalty mortgage

These are the only 3 instances of contact I've had from my bank other than statements and each one seems to coincide with my having to jump through the Verified by Visa hoop.

So are my bank using the Verified by Visa as a marketing trigger to contact me because they know I'm available and online?

Has anyone else had a similar experience to mine or am I just being overly paranoid?

Updated 12 March 2014

Today I used my business bank card to purchase something, again I had to use the Verified by Visa challenge, lo and behold 45 minutes later I get a mail from my bank.