What is 3D secure and how does it work?

Published: 25/10/2018

If you're a business who's interested in taking payments online or are already set up, you might have come across the term 3D secure authentication. But what is it and how does it work?

What does 3D secure mean?

3D secure, also referred to as 3D secure authentication or 3DS, is a fraud prevention measure that was originally launched by Visa (as Verified-by-Visa) back in 2001.

It acts as an added layer of security when taking card payments. It gives your customers a secure authentication step before they can purchase shopping online; ensuring that they’re using the correct card details to help protect against card payment fraud.

Alongside Visa, it is now backed and recognised by major debit and credit card issuers, including Mastercard (as Mastercard Secure Code) and American Express (as American Express SafeKey).

How does 3D secure authentication work?

You’ve probably come across 3D secure authentication before if you’ve ever paid for something online.

It works so that when a customer is ready to pay for something online, they are redirected to their debit or credit card provider’s 3D secure page on their website.

On their providers website, they’ll either be asked for a password (which they’ll have set up already with their bank) or will need to enter an authentication code (which will be automatically sent to their confirmed mobile phone number).

After they’ve provided the correct details, the payment will be approved by the card provider and they’ll be directed back to your website.

This will all be done really quickly and once back on your site, the customer will receive confirmation that the payment has been successful.

The benefits of using 3D secure

By using 3D secure for online payments, you’ll be protecting both your business and your customer against potential card payment fraud.

Once transactions have gone through the 3D secure authentication process, you’ll no longer be liable for the purchase. Meaning not only will you be protected against any unauthorised transaction chargebacks, but you’ll also save time and money with less potential settlement disputes between your customers.

The liability is instead passed onto the card payment provider. If you have a customer that claims they haven’t authorised payment, the card provider will be responsible for managing any refunds to the customer.

For your customers, 3D secure means that you’ll be giving them an extra level of security when it comes to shopping online. With the fraud prevention security in place, it can help to combat against any payment fraud, keeping your customers’ card details safe and helping to ensure their trust in your business.

Plus, they’ll be able to make online payments using major debit or credit cards which use the secure authentication system, including Visa (through Verified-by-Visa), Mastercard (through Mastercard Secure Code) or American Express (through American Express SafeKey), giving them more choice.

What do I need to get started?

To start taking online payments using 3D secure authentication, you’ll first need to choose a card payments provider (also known as an acquirer) that uses 3D secure as part of their online payment security. You can read our blog on what you should consider when choosing a card provider.

You’ll also need to be set-up with a merchant account. This means that whenever you take a payment online through your website, the transaction funds will be deposited and held in the account so that they can be processed safely and securely.

If you’re ready to start taking payments through your website, we can help. Our payment gateway solutions include 3D secure authentication as standard, alongside the latest security features including, IP address, AVS and CVV checks.

They can be easily integrated with your site a number of ways, linking your merchant account to a range of major UK shopping carts, such as Magento, Prestashop and WooCommerce. For a full list of compatible shopping carts, take a look at our developer support zone.

PCI compliance

Our payment gateway is compliant with PCI Level 1 security. You will need to ensure you are PCI compliant as a business, which means putting your own security measures in place to make sure your customers’ details are kept safe.

We provide a PCI compliance service so that you can ensure you’re fully compliant and protecting both you and your customers’ data when it comes to taking online payments.

Interested in taking secure online payments? With no set-up fees and a short 12-month contract available, start taking payments online with Payzone. Enquire for your free quote today.

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