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3D Secure Merchant’s Handbook

Understanding 3D Secure for Merchants blog post header
  • Blog
  • 3D Secure Merchant’s Handbook
Clarifying Compliance
1. Payment Processing Compliance Explained
2. Beyond Compliance: Understanding Secure Payment Processes
3. Understanding PCI Compliance
4. 3D Secure Merchant’s Handbook

The Easy-to-Understand Guide to Using and Implementing 3D Secure

3D Secure is a method of authentication set up to protect you from the unauthorized use of cards for online payments. Created by Visa (‘Visa Secure’) and MasterCard (‘MasterCard SecureCode’), it adds an extra level of security to the card acquiring process. 3D Secure 2.0 (3DS 2.0 or 3DS2) is the latest 3D Secure authentication protocol.

A screenshot of a 3DS Payment with RapydWhy Should Merchants Use It?

3D Secure is required to accept credit cards in Europe, and optional in other regions. It offers a liability shift that protects merchants from chargebacks in the event of a fraudulent transaction.

Participating card issuers offer a payment guarantee for 3D Secure authenticated online payments. If a customer disputes a transaction for fraud, or claims that they did not make the transaction, then the merchant isn’t typically liable for the chargeback. The card issuer will pay those costs and the money won’t be taken out of the merchant’s account.

3D Secure 1.0 VS 2.0

3DS 2.0 replaces 1.0. It offers a better user experience that helps to improve conversions and reduces cart abandonment.

With 3DS 1.0 customers had to enter a static password to validate transactions. 3DS 2.0 replaces these passwords with new authentication technologies, such as biometrics, to meet European strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements.

3DS 2.0 analyzes over 100 data points. If the transaction is deemed low risk, no further action is required by the user. If the transaction is seen as high risk, 3D Secure sends a challenge to the user that asks them to verify their identity using biometrics (like a fingerprint) or two-factor authorization (such as a one-time security code.)

By removing the need to remember a password and only requiring an additional customer verification step for high-risk transactions, 3DS 2.0 streamlines the checkout experience while improving security for card issuers and merchants.

With 2.0 You Get

  • Better fraud prevention
  • Mobile device support
  • More flexibility for merchants and opt-out capabilities where not required by law
  • Multi-factor authentication and biometrics
  • A better customer experience with fewer false positives

  How 3DS 2.0 Payments Work

  • The customer provides their credit or debit card information to initiate a transaction
  • If necessary, the customer validates their payment using a one-time authentication code, fingerprint or facial recognition
  • Validated transactions are authorized

The 3DS Payment Process

Diagram of the 3D Secure Payment Process

Who Has to Use 3D Secure 2.0?

If your acquirer is located in the European Economic Area, you need to enable 3D Secure 2.0 to accept online credit cards.

3DS 2.0 is the easiest way to meet strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements for credit card transactions. The deadline for mandatory SCA adoption in the EU is 31 December 2020.

Countries in Europe that require 3D Secure
European Economic Area

How to Implement 3D Secure 2.0

Rapyd supports 3D Secure 2.0 for credit card transactions. Refer to our docs for details on how to activate this capability. 

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The Fastest Way to Accept Credit Cards and Local Payment Methods Across Europe

To get started accepting credit card payments in Europe with built-in fraud monitoring and compliance, including 3DS 2.0, sign up for Rapyd Collect Online.

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