What is 3D Secure | Solidgate

3D Secure


3D Secure (3DS) is an additional layer of security in online credit and debit card transactions. This protocol is designed to authenticate the cardholder’s identity during the payment process, reducing the risk of unauthorized transactions and fraud liability for merchants and issuers. The process involves three key participants – a cardholder, a merchant, and an issuer. Once customers enter their card details, they are redirected to a page where they must enter a one-time code sent to their mobile or email.

3DS versions include 3DS1 and the newer 3DS2. The latter replaced 3DS1 and utilizes richer data for risk-based evaluations during checkout. For transactions that require 3DS2 authentication, the card issuer determines the type of verification flow necessary. There are two main flows:

  • Frictionless flow: The customer’s identity is seamlessly confirmed in the background without needing any additional action on their part. It allows transactions to go through quickly and smoothly.
  • Challenge flow: When a purchase seems high-risk or more verification is needed, the customer is prompted to provide extra information such as a one-time password. This additional authentication step enables important transactions to be approved while still protecting against fraud. Customers may also be asked to complete a challenge flow when they have pre-approved future recurring payments to ensure continued authorization.


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