What is 3D Secure and Verified by Visa?

3-D Secure is an optional layer of security for processing online credit card and debit card transactions. 3-D protocols are marketed by Visa under the names Verified by Visa and Visa Secure, by Mastercard under the name SecureCode, by American Express under the name American Express SafeKey and by Discover under the name ProtectBuy.

If a merchant is enrolled in one of these fraud prevention programs, customers are prompted for their specific password before completion of an order. If the customer is not enrolled, then the transaction usually goes through without the need for a password. While these programs protect the cardholder as well as the merchant and they may help prevent fraud, they can also reduce the amount of successful transaction conversions.

3-D Secure 2.0 was rolled out in 2016 and represented a considerable advance over version 1.0. In particular, 2.0 makes authenticating their transactions easier for customers. With version 1.0, customers would see a pop-up page requesting several fields of information including card number, expiration date and the CVV2. This pop-up screen demanding highly sensitive data had all the appearances of a scam, and did indeed inspire a great number of fraudulent schemes. Even where fraud was not an issue, the pop-up routine led many e-Commerce merchants to experience high rates of cart abandonment. 

Today, version 2.0 makes things much simpler and far more user-friendly.  In some cases, the customer is prompted for one type of additional identify verification; in other cases, the customer sees no difference from the usual checkout experience even though Verified by Visa is working in the background. This is important for online transactions, because an excessive number of requests for customer information, as alluded to earlier, leads to a high rate of cart abandonment.

Currently, Visa has card issuers that support versions 1.0, 2.0, both or neither. As a result, your ability as a merchant to insert Verified by Visa into your online checkout process varies depending on the card issuer of the customer placing the order.

Because the new 2.0 protocols are more user-friendly than the old version of 3-D Secure, reviewing them is well worth your time if you are an e-Commerce company. Card-not-present (CNP) fraud is running rampant these days, fueled by two major developments. The first development was the rapid advance of chip cards, which make point of sale (POS) transactions in the store less vulnerable to fraud. The second and more recent development: COVID-19. Pandemic shutdowns have forced many shoppers and diners to order online rather than visit a store or restaurant. This increased volume of online transactions has attracted even greater attention from fraudsters, eager to take advantage of these new online shoppers — many of whom may be less tech savvy than those long accustomed to using credit cards for digital transactions.

If you would like to discuss adding Verified by Visa or another 3-D Secure option to your payment processing, please contact us now. We will help you sort through the advantages and potential issues, as well as the costs and maintenance involved with using the technology.

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