3D Security for Card Payments

3D Security for Card Payments


We use our Credit or Debit card for making payments almost every day. But most of us are unaware of the consequences which can happen if we loose our  card details. Comparing the card frauds happening around the world we should be more aware of how to use our Credit or Debit cards without being a victim of a card fraud.

As per Nilson Report, October 2016, global credit card and debit card fraud resulted in losses amounting to $21.84 billion during 2015. Card issuers and merchants incurred 72% and 28% of those losses, respectively.

In this article, I’ll explain what is 3D Security for Card Payment and how it can help you to secure your transaction details from theft.

What is 3D Secure

3D Secure is an XML-based protocol designed to be an additional security layer for online credit and debit card transactions. It was originally developed by Arcot Systems (now CA Technologies) and first implemented by VISA with the intention of improving the security of Internet payments and is offered to customers under the name ‘Verified by Visa‘. Services based on the protocol have also been adopted by MasterCard as ‘MasterCard SecureCode‘, and by JCB International as ‘J/Secure‘. American Express added 3-D Secure on November, 2010, as “American Express SafeKey“, in select markets and continues to launch additional markets.

The basic concept of the protocol is to add additional security layer for the financial transaction authorization process with an online authentication. This additional security authentication is based on a three-domain model (3-D).

The three domains are:

  1. Acquirer Domain: the Bank and the Merchant to which the money is being paid.
  2. Issuer Domain: the Bank which issued the card.
  3. Interoperability Domain: the infrastructure provided by the card scheme to support the 3D Secure protocol (i.e. Internet, MPI (Merchant Plug-in), ACS (Access Control Server) and other software providers)

How does 3D Secure works:

When you are shopping online, this will add additional authorization level in order to proceed the transaction.

Following is a flow of transaction without 3D secure:




Following is a flow of transaction with 3D secure:


After you enter your credit card details in an online store/website, a new window will appear, requesting your personal security code (sometimes it can be you National ID Number, Date of Birth, ATM PIN, etc…). Your financial institution will authenticate the transaction within seconds, as well as confirm that you are the individual making the purchase.

If you haven’t yet registered with Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode, you’ll need to activate this feature first. You can do this during the payment process, or activate it in advance through your card issuing Bank, Visa or MasterCard website.

After you register, you can use the security code for all your online transactions. More and more online stores are making this extra security code compulsory to reduce fraud.