3D Secure Authentication – Benefits and How it Works


What is 3D Secure?

Almost on a daily basis our merchants call in and ask the question, what is 3D secure? Of Course, this arises when they get complaints from their clients.

3D Secure is a technical standard created to further secure card-holder, especially over online transactions.

Then the question of how to protect card owners comes to mind especially where debit cards can be used in the absence of the card-holder not present. A term often referred to as Card-holder Not Present (CNP)

3D Secure authentication was designed to  protect a credit card against unauthorised use when shopping online

MasterCard brands their system as ‘MasterCard SecureCode’ , Visa call theirs ‘Verified by Visa’ and American Express is branded as American Express SafeKey


This authentication enables card owners to validate transactions they make over the internet by requesting for a One-Time-Password (OTP)  which usually sent to the owners cell phone or email address.

This protect the card holder from fraudulent use by unauthorized individuals.

How 3D Secure works?

3D Secure process is as follows:

  1. The card holder enters their card information (16 digit card number, expiry date etc.) on VoguePay
  2. VoguePay contacts a directory server to see whether the card is enrolled in 3D Secure
  3. The directory server responds with a message indicating that the card is registered
  4. VoguePay uses the message to redirect the cardholder to a “3D Secure” page served by the issuing bank
  5. The cardholder authenticates themselves to the issuing bank on the 3D Secure page by entering a OTP (One Time Pin) or known password etc.
  6. The result of this authentication is returned to VoguePay
  7. VoguePay submits the card information and the 3D Secure authentication result to our acquiring bank
  8. Our acquiring bank authorises the transaction (by communicating with the credit card network and issuing bank)
  9. The response (success or failure) is passed back up the chain to the card holder


How to Activate 3D Secure?

3D Secure stands for 3 Domain Server, hence there are 3 parties  involved in the 3D Secure process :

  • The company the purchase is being made from.
  • The Acquiring Bank (the bank of the company)
  • VISA and MasterCard (the card issuers themselves)

To protect card owners, all transactions on voguepay requires 3D secure cards. Kindly contact your card issuer or the bank to enable 3D secure on your cards

Advantages of 3D Secure Authentication

  • Protects cardholder against unauthorised use
  • Added layer of fraud protection
  • Increase customer confidence when shopping online
  • Shift fraud liability from your business with chargeback protection on qualifying transactions


3D Secure Service limitations

  • Not all cards are currently participating in the program authentication
  • It does not restrict chargebacks to happen but reduces the cost of fraudulent chargebacks.


Tell your customers about 3D Secure?

As a trusted merchant, you must make sure you clearly explain that you are using 3D Secure (Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code) to provide them with extra protection.

You could also create a page on your website that gives the customer more information about the program.

Additionally, make sure the Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code logo is clearly displayed.

In all, 3D Secure should be seen as an additional layer of protection provided by the card issuer.

We advise using the 3D Secure alongside our other fraud prevention tools that are available to our customers.

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