Commonwealth Bank Ltd. has added an extra security measure for its customers who shop online, according to the Australia-based bank.

In what the bank says is a first in Australian banking, shoppers now must use the NetCode SMS message system when shopping online. Alternately, customers may use a personal, pocket-sized NetCode security device that generates a unique code every thirty seconds, the bank says in a statement.

NetCode SMS is a free, single-use security code that the bank sends to a customer’s mobile phone instantly via text message that authenticates the cardholder when purchasing from retailers’ websites featuring a MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa logo.

With either method, when cardholders shop online at a participating retailer, they are prompted to enter their NetCode during the purchase process, just as they would enter a PIN at an ATM.

The NetCode facility already was available for the bank’s 4 million customers who use NetCode SMS or the token for online funds transfers or bill payments. Those customers automatically now may use the added security layer when shopping online with their debit and credit cards, the bank says.

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