What is secure 3D authentication

Activate 3D-Secure for your credit card now!

Due to the European payment services directive "PSD2", merchants and payment service providers are obliged to use what is known as "strong customer authentication" for online payments. Apart from exceptions defined by the legislator, the card issuer must ensure that two of three factors are met during authentication: Possession (e.g. card, mobile phone), knowledge (e.g. PIN) or inherence such as biometric Properties (e.g. fingerprint).

This EU directive requires full implementation by retailers, banks and network operators by December 31, 2020. One of the measures implemented is the 3D secure process.

Update, February 2021:

BaFin has once again extended the deadline for implementing two-factor authentication in e-commerce. In order to enable those involved to safely start up their newly implemented systems, a three-part step-by-step plan applies. The stricter security regulations for all credit card transactions will only take effect from March 15, 2021. In the first step, only payments from 250 euros were subject to the additional security requirement. From February 15th, purchases of 150 euros or more are only payable after double verification by credit card. Four weeks later, the rule from EUR 0.01 applies.


What is the 3D Secure procedure?

3D-Secure encounters consumers under terms such as “Verified by Visa” or “Mastercard Identity Check” (formerly “Mastercard Securecode”). This hides the currently highest security standard for online card payments - a service from your bank or savings bank and your credit card issuer - and a program used by online retailers worldwide. In Europe, this procedure is to be finally implemented for web shops and online orders from 01.01.2021.

The aim is to secure your online purchases even better against unauthorized use of your credit card.


How does the 3D Secure process work?

With the 3D Secure process, you confirm the electronic payment process a second time and thus prove that no one other than the cardholder is behind it. If you do not confirm the payment again during the purchase process, the transaction will not be approved and the purchase will not be completed. This double proof of identity is also called strong customer authentication or two-factor authentication. A feature such as a password, SMS PIN, fingerprint or similar can be used for the second confirmation.

Here's how it works: This video explains how the 3D secure process works.


What do consumers have to do to continue shopping online?

You do not need a new card to participate in 3D-Secure. However, you have to register with your bank or savings bank for the procedure. It is therefore best to take care of your registration now and not only at the turbulent end of the year.

Registering for 3-D-Secure is a little different for each card-issuing financial institution, but it is always just a few steps. If you have not yet registered, inquire early on on the website of your institute.


Why is this additional protection necessary?

In order to protect consumers and retailers against the misuse of stolen card data, credit card companies designed the 3D Secure procedure even before the smartphone was launched in 2000 and continued to optimize it. The latest variant has been on the market since April 2019. In order to comply with the second payment service directive of the European Union (Payment Service Directive 2, PSD2 for short), the countdown for retailers, banks and network operators is ticking louder and louder.

Anyone who has activated their credit card for the “Mastercard Identity Check” or “Verified by Visa” in good time can continue shopping on the web. Just safer.