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3D-Secure v2 and the problem with 2FA

Peter Taylor

2 min read
Graphic banner for an article discussing the differences between 3D-Secure v2 and the issues with 2FA, featuring an author's name and a prompt to read the article on authentication

customer experience at an expense

3D Secure (3-Domain Secure) was introduced by the PCI as a security standard for online transactions. Backed by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, UnionPay, Discover and JBC) – the protocol was designed specifically as an extra layer of security for card-not-present transactions online. You may know it in the form of “Verified by Visa” and “MasterCard SecureCode” – the box that pops up when you complete a purchase online.

Fraudsters are targeting card-not-present transactions. Consumers still tend to pick easy to remember passwords and this is a simple process for fraudsters to breach.

Version 1.0 of 3D Secure did improve security, but at the expense of the customer experience. The system authenticates cardholder information, usually requesting a password or PIN. These extra steps in the process are not a great experience, and the service is only available in browser-based transactions. This leads to a more frustrating customer experience, and a tangible drop in sales conversions (users simply cannot complete the transaction, or give up when they cannot remember their password).

Version 2.0 of 3D Secure has been introduced. The aim of the new standard is to further secure these transactions, whilst at the same time improving the customer experience, and adding mobile applications into the mix. The system now allows for replacements to passwords such as:

1. Biometric identification – face, fingerprint or voice recognition

2. 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) – using a username and password, but also something the user has unique access to, for instance a phone.

3. Risk-based authentication – allows issuers to make decisions based on additional data about the transaction, merchant and cardholder

The introduction of 3D Secure Version 2.0 will bring about stronger authentication, mobile transactions and an improved user experience.

However, TMT believes there are still some improvements that can be made. As an example, 2FA still has the potential to be intercepted and falsified by fraudsters due to the nature of SMS and email as the communications medium.

The solution to 2FA

Organisations implementing 3D Secure v2.0 standards will need to consider a number of elements during rollout. TMT has designed a solution that will enhance and simplify the implementation; Verify.

For more information on how TMT can help with 3D Secure and 2FA enhancements, please visit TMT

Last updated on March 28, 2024


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