As online payments start to accelerate in the Middle East, the
International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) has upgraded its online banking
security in partnership with both Visa and MasterCard.

The IBQ Card secure service will be free of
charge and in association with Verified by Visa and MasterCard
Secure Code.

The head of retail banking at IBQ, Philip
King, said that the partnership with the two card issuers provided
the bank’s customers with extra security and fraud protection when
making purchases online.

Alternative payment channels are rapidly
gaining in popularity among consumers in the Middle East.

Banks that have responded to the trend and
online security threats include Mashreq Bank, who upgraded its
internet banking service at the beginning of February.

Mashreq introduced a one-time authentication
where customers must add their utility account number in
the beneficiary list and activate by entering an activation code
received on their mobile phone after several customers had
experienced phishing fraud.

Another bank that responded to the online
payments trend was the Qatar National Bank who expanded its mobile payment
service, eazypay,
to enable merchants to accept payments from
customers via text message at the beginning of the year.