Until now, if you added a new credit card to your Steam account you were not able to use it in the Steam Market for 7-days. This was intended to avoid illegitimate purchases from a stolen card being racked up before the card holder acted upon the theft, since all marketplace transactions are non-refundable (and non-tangible). Naturally, this has always been a point of contention with customers who never like being treated like a potential criminal first. “Innocent til’ proven guilty” rarely exists on the internet, but the sad fact is that policies such as this are most often a necessary nuisance. Still, one can always make them a little less restrictive, as Valve has now done by giving users a much quicker method of verification.
The Steam Community Market group has posted an announcement heralding the change in process. Actually, nothing has changed in the policy itself; a new credit card is still placed on a one-week hold from the market. However, you can now instantly verify a new card by going to https://store.steampowered.com/account/verifycards and requesting Steam send you a verification email to the address on file. There may or may not be a direct option through the Steam client yet. This process now acts like a two-factor authentication system for credit card. If you don’t know what two-factor authentication is, it’s something you should be using for just about everything including Steam by way of Steam Guard as a means of protected your accounts with more than just a simple password.
This comes the day before the famous (or infamous) Steam Summer Sale is expected to begin. Market transactions have already increased leading up to the sale event, as users buy and sell “Mysterious Cards” that are currently earned by crafting a badge from trading cards.