What is 3-D Secure?

Find out what 3-D Secure is and how it benefits your business

What is 3-D Secure version 1?

3-D Secure (also known as 3DS) is a verification process which adds a layer of protection to online transactions. This is done by redirecting customers to a secure page where they can input security information, such as a password.

This allows the customer to be verified whilst completing their online transaction, and shift fraud liability for chargebacks from your business to the customer’s bank.

However, there are drawbacks to 3DS version 1. The customer journey is made longer by needing to access an additional page, and there is an increased risk of verification failure from customers not correctly inputting their password. This results in greater cart abandonment and loss of revenue. Additionally, 3DS Version1 is currently being phased out and replaced by 3DS version 2 (also known as 3DS EMV) which has richer functionality. 3DS version 1 will be completely retired October 2022 and no longer function.

What is 3-D Secure version 2?

3DS version 2 (also known as EMV 3DS and 3DS2) is an improvement on 3DS version 1, which adds greater security, improved fraud protection, and improves the customer experience, delivering, on many occasions, a frictionless transaction process.

3DS version 2 is optimised for all devices, which improves how effective it is at allowing customers to authenticate their transactions quickly and easily. This is important, as all online transactions need to be authenticated to meet Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) under Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) unless certain exemptions are submitted, or a transaction is out of scope of the regulations.

Note: You can find out more on Strong Customer Authentication in our blog.

3DS version 2 works by asking customers to authenticate in one of three ways:

  1. Something the cardholder is (a biometric factor such as a fingerprint).
  2. Something the cardholder has (a mobile phone, an app, an email address).
  3. Something the cardholder knows (a PIN number, mother’s maiden name).

And some of the benefits of 3DS version 2 include:

  • Transaction support across a range of devices (e.g., mobile, and mobile apps).
  • More ways to authenticate a transaction (e.g., mobile banking authentication, fingerprint).
  • Increased fraud prevention thanks to 10x more data being shared with the card issuer for enhanced risk-based decisions.
  • Increased authorisation rates.
  • Reduced cart abandonment.