The Ultimate Guide to 3D Secure Authentication

The Ultimate Guide to 3D Secure Authentication

Discover everything you need to know about 3D secure authentication and why it’s essential for online businesses.

Given the popularity of eCommerce platforms in today’s modern world, many card transactions that were only possible to push through in person have shifted online, which provided tons of benefits to merchants as well as their customers. Card-not-present (CNP) payments offer convenience to those initiating transactions, allowing them to make payments in the comforts of their home. The merchants, on the other hand, no longer need to rent a space for a physical store or hire an employee to receive payments from their customers. However, such technological advancements have also resulted in an increasing number of credit card fraud cases. This is where the need for secure 3D authentication comes into play. 

Since the card and the cardholder are not physically present during a CNP transaction, verifying the identity of the person making the payment and confirming the legitimacy of the payment itself can be difficult, if not, impossible. Additionally, chip readers and PIN-pad devices that are used to authenticate a card in a brick and mortar store are not available in a CNP transaction. To verify information, the use of other authentication techniques such as 3D secure is necessary.

What is 3D Secure Authentication?

Launched in 2001 by Visa and is now recognised by all major credit and debit card issuers including Mastercard and American Express, 3D secure authentication refers to a form of security protocol used to authenticate users.  It provides an extra layer of protection as it requires an additional verification step for CNP transactions. 

guide to 3d secure authentication

How Does 3D Secure Authentication Work?

First, the customer enters the payment details on the checkout page of a website. Then, they are redirected to their card issuer’s authentication page, where they are asked to either enter a password they have previously set-up with their banks or to enter a code that was sent to their phone. 

3D secure authentication adds an extra layer of protection to online transactions, ensuring that customers’ data remains safe and your brand’s reputation remains intact. 

Components of 3D Secure Authentication

3D secure authentication operates with data exchange between three different domains: 

  • Acquirer Domain – this domain refers to the bank that holds the seller’s account and where the money from the transaction will be sent to. 
  • Issuer Domain – this domain refers to the issuing bank where the money is debited from. 
  • Interoperability Domain – this domain connects the acquirer and issuer domain and supports the 3D secure authentication process. 

The Benefits of Using 3D Secure Authentication for e-Commerce

  • Reduces the risk of fraud

Given the additional layers of security that 3D secure authentication can provide, it will be more difficult for cybercriminals to commit online fraud. Thus, misuse of cards and loss of payment can be significantly reduced. 

  • Shift in liability

Most merchants are familiar with the term chargeback fraud. This occurs when a consumer fraudulently attempts to secure a refund by requesting a chargeback from their issuing bank rather than contacting the merchant after receiving the products they have purchased online. Once the chargeback is approved, the bank will then cancel the financial transaction and the consumer receives the refund. Unfortunately, the liability associated with this attack often rests with the merchants themselves. 

3D secure authentication shifts the liability associated with chargeback fraud from the merchants to their issuing bank or to the card issuer who made the fraudulent chargeback. 

  • Improves customer experience

With 3D secure authentication, consumers can enjoy a safer yet simple checkout process. This can help improve customer experience and eventually convince the consumers to return and shop again.

  • Ability to facilitate international transactions

3D secure authentication allows the merchants and the consumers to facilitate international transactions securely. With this, merchants can expand their reach and customers can be given wider options. 

Protect your business against fraud with 3D secure authentication.

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