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4 Min. Read

What Is 3D Secure? A Complete Guide

What is 3D Secure? A Complete Guide

Paying online always seems to come with some sort of risk level. Data breaches and online leaks have plagued the headlines for the last decade as more and more transactions take place digitally. In response, a card issuer may add an additional layer of security. This layer of security normally comes in the form of an additional step in the authentication process.

One of these authentication processes comes in the form of 3D Secure. Learn more about 3D Secure and how it makes online payments safer!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is 3D Secure?

Secure Authentication with 3D Secure 2

Is 3D Secure Necessary?

Key Takeaways

What Is 3D Secure?

3D Secure is a form of payment authentication that makes fraudulent transactions less likely. It does this by asking the user to verify who they are. If you’ve done any bit of online shopping in the last ten years, it is highly likely that you have used 3D Secure.

During the checkout process, the card issuer or bank may ask the customer to confirm who they are. When they do this, a liability shift occurs. This means that the business will no longer be liable for fraudulent chargebacks, the bank will. This is because they have confirmed that the customer is who they say they are. This layer of protection has proved to be invaluable for businesses and customers alike.

An Evolving Tool

In the past, 3D Secure 1 has interrupted the checkout flow for customers, making the user experience less than enjoyable. In an attempt to make the checkout experience better, 3D Secure 1 has been updated to 3D Secure 2. This updated authentication protocol is still secure and makes the experience much better.

Secure Authentication with 3D Secure 2

As Secure 3D has evolved, so have the authentication methods. No longer does a static password cover all the bases. There is more than just a single authentication method available now. The best part about the new methods is that they’re all less impactful on the user experience. Read about them all below!

Passive Authentication Methods

Thanks to the new version of 3D Secure, passive authentication is possible. Passive authentication occurs when the software development kits do all the necessary communication. This means that no active approval is required on the part of the cardholder once the card details have been entered. The additional security layer is still present but requires no action from the customer. This is the most seamless experience available. However, sometimes action is required during the process in one of the forms listed below.

Two-Factor Authentication Methods

Two-factor authentication is a convenient way to have customers identify themselves. Many people are already familiar with this method of authentication, too. Using two-factor authentication, a user is sent a specific code via text or email. This code is easily accessible from a mobile phone, making it ideal since nearly all people carry mobile devices. Once the code has been provided, they enter it in the mobile app or website to authenticate that they are who they say they are.

Biometric Authentication Methods

These are most commonly used when app-switching for verification. Rather than making the user enter an additional password on their mobile device, they’ll use the stored biometric information. Most mobile apps for banks allow the use of fingerprints or facial recognition. By allowing these to be used as a second form of authentication, users are given a smoother authentication flow.

Is 3D Secure Necessary?

With most businesses taking place online, 3D Secure is something that most businesses consider necessary. It helps remove the liability from the business should any fraudulent charges take place. It’s also becoming a requirement for many European merchants. This is due to the Strong Customer Authentication requirements. These requirements state that online purchases need to be more secure. Due to this requirement, extra levels of authentication may be required. 3D Secure meets all of the authentication requirements of SCA.

Authentication keeps transactions secure, and that’s an important part of any business that has an online presence. By providing secure ways to make purchases online, businesses create a sense of trust with their customers.

Key Takeaways

If you’ve ever purchased something online, chances are you’ve used a form of 3D Secure. This authentication system is a way of making sure that online purchases are secure. As the world moves further into the digital realm, digital security is becoming more important. Most businesses will be required to use 3D Secure authentication in the near future.


Did this article help you? If you’re looking for more like it, be sure to check out our resource hub. We have plenty of useful articles for business owners both large and small!


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