Protect against fraud with 3D Secure

Enhance your security against fraudulent payments with 3D Secure. Your customers will be asked to enter a password, passcode or OTP (One Time Password), if they are paying online, to prove that they are the legitimate holder of the card that they are using. 3D Secure is available as 'Verified by Visa', 'MasterCard SecureCode' and, very soon, as ‘MasterCard Identity’.

What is 3D secure authentication?

3D Secure authentication, or Three-Domain Secure (3DS) is a messaging protocol that provides an additional layer of security for online credit and debit card transactions. Both 'Verified by Visa' and 'MasterCard Secure Code', improve the security of payments made over the internet. In simple terms, 3DS enables a cardholder to authenticate themselves with the bank that has issued their credit card, when they make a ‘card-not-present’ online purchase. The cardholders prove that the card being used is secure, and that it is not a lost or stolen card.

Merchants are strongly encouraged to participate in 3DS programs. This is to ensure that they are released from the burden of liability for fraudulent transactions, with the responsibility shifted to the issuing bank of the card being used.

What is 3D secure authentication?

How does this 3D Security protocol work?

The 3D authentication system will provide additional security towards risk management for both the merchant and the customers while online transactions are being performed. 3D authentication adds a verification process to the completion of the transaction and works as follows:

  • After the cardholder has entered the credit card number and CVV code within a PCI compliant web-form (on the merchant’s site or our Hosted Payment Page), the cardholder’s card is verified against the Visa/MasterCard directory for enrollment.
  • If the cardholder is participating in the 3DS program, the cardholder is redirected to their issuing bank’s 3D Secure page.
  • The cardholder then enters their password, or a one-time pin, that they may receive via SMS, or via a push notification, to the bank’s mobile app.
  • The issuing bank then verifies the code/password and returns the result of the verification to Powercash21.
  • Powercash21 then, based on this verification result, decides to either approve or decline the transaction.
  • This ensures that no unauthorized person is able to use the MasterCard or Visa 3D secure card.

How does this 3D Security protocol work?

A 3D Secure risk engine has also been developed by Powercash21, which allows us to customize the usage of 3D secure based on unique parameters such as issuer bin country, issuer bin, amount, currency or GEO conflict. This allows us to tailor and customize specific 3D secure solutions for the individual merchant. This is achieved by ensuring that high risk traffic is submitted via 3D and low risk traffic is sent as non-3D, optimizing both security and conversion rates.


What if customers are using non-3D Secure Cards?

At Powercash21, we recognize that not all cards are 3D Secure enrolled or enabled. We want to ensure that our merchants do not lose sales in cases where their customers are using a card that is not 3DS enrolled. We therefore have developed additional functionality at the processing level to provide a middle solution to push the transaction through.

This is known as the ‘Attempt Non-3D’ option. In this case, if a transaction cannot be completed via the 3D secure route, then the transaction is re-attempted via non-3D automatically. In this way, the merchant can maintain their conversion rates, and at the same time benefit from a chargeback liability shift in most cases.

What if customers are using non-3D Secure Cards?

The main advantages of 3D secure

In summary, both the merchants and cardholders can benefit from credit card 3D secure processing:

  • It adds an additional layer of security by 3D authentication
  • Chargeback liability is shifted away from the merchant
  • Will Reduce the risk of chargeback/fraud
  • Will Reduce the risk of disputed transactions
  • Limits the resources that a merchant needs to dedicate to disputed transactions


At powercash21, enabling 3D authentication is easy to set up and it can be enabled at no extra cost to your merchant account. Contact us to discuss how you can support 3D Secure payments seamlessly and securely.

The main advantages of 3D secure

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