3D Secure authentication

What is 3D Secure?

In broad terms, 3D Secure is a fraud prevention scheme that adds an extra authentication step for online payments. 

If you’ve ever made a payment online using a credit or debit card, you’ll have most likely already used 3D secure. 
It’s a fraud prevention measure launched in 2001 by Visa (as Verified-by-Visa) and is now backed and recognised by credit and debit card providers Mastercard (as Mastercard Secure Code) and American Express (as American Express SafeKey).
3D secure is one of the key security features when you take online payments through a payment gateway. It’s an additional step to help protect against card payment fraud.

How does 3D secure work?

When you go to pay on a website and enter your payment details, you then get redirected to your debit or credit card provider’s 3D secure web page. It’s here where you are normally asked to provide either:

  • the password that you’ll have previously set-up with your bank
  • a one-time authentication code that’s sent to your mobile phone.
  • if you have your bank or card provider app on your phone, it will most likely send you notification for transaction approval.

You can also watch this short video about 3D Secure.


If you have problems completing this step, please contact your bank or card provider and tell them about your issue. 
For example, if your contact details are not up to date, the bank can't send you your codes.