3D Secure: the security mechanisms of online payments

3D Secure: the security mechanisms of online payments

3D Secure step of payment verification is a crucial protection tool when it comes to online payments. Today, the Genome team will explain how it works, when and why it was established, and how to have it on the eCommerce website.

What does 3D Secure mean?

3D Secure or 3DS is an online security protocol created to improve the safety of CNP transactions during online payments. It connects the POS with the card issuer, card network, and other parties that take part in the online payment services process. The main goal is to increase safety via payment authentication.


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Where does it come from?

It was first developed in 1999 for the Visa card network. In 2001 the card brand started to use the protocol during e-purchases using the new branding name such as Verified by Visa, which later became Visa Secure. Today it has become a key protection method in Europe and Malta.

Later on, these services were adopted as well by other brands:

Card network or card brand3D Secure service name
VisaVisa Secure
American ExpressAmerican Express SafeKey
JCB InternationalJ/Secure

How does it function?

The name “3D Secure” relies on the three domains that interact utilizing the protocol.

  1. Merchant domain to which funds are paid.  
  2. Issuer domain which has issued the payment card.
  3. Compatibility domain which is the structure established by the card scheme, credit and debit cards, etc. to provide the 3DS protocol.

To prevent fraud, the method requires a client to pass the additional verification step. 

What does a client see?

The additional verification step appears after the client makes the online payment on the checkout page. They input the billing and shipping data on the merchant’s website, click the “pay” button, and at this moment he or she is redirected to the 3D Secure verification.

Normally, it looks like a new web page with the form that includes: the amount to pay, the bank-issuer logo, a card network logo, an empty line to be filled in, and a “submit” button. The design of the 3DS form does not depend on a merchant but on the bank-issuer.

The form would require a client to enter a password or a code that is sent to a personal device such as a smartphone. Sometimes the process takes place in the banking application.

How to have a 3D Secure on the website?

For this purpose, a business owner should find a reliable provider to issue a merchant account. After, there can be requests for different services, including the web payment acceptance for any currency like EUR or USD. We recommend checking out Genome to complete these goals in a simple and secure manner. 


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What is a 3D Secure Merchant?

It is a merchant that uses the 3DS services on their website/app. Meaning the clients pass through additional verification while paying online. 

How do I activate 3D Secure on my Mastercard?

There is no need to activate it. In fact, every MasterCard has the SecureCode verification. It launches each time automatically when the e-payment is made.

How do I enable 3D Secure payment?

As a merchant, you should have a system to accept payments online on the website. Only then will you have the 3DS. It will be launched automatically for customers by card networks like Visa or Masterсard. 

How do I activate a 3D Secure bank?

As a customer, there is only one way to activate the 3DS. It starts automatically during the website payment. After clicking to pay, there comes a form that requests a code or a password. It is the 3DS verification.