3D Secure

3-D Secure, standing for Three-Domain Secure, is an additional security layer for online credit and debit card transactions.

Developed by Visa with the name Verified by Visa, it soon gained traction and was adopted by other major card schemes, MasterCard (MasterCard SecureCode), American Express (SafeKey), and others.

  1. The three domains referred to in its name are
    the acquiring bank (merchant and merchant bank)
  2. the issuing bank (cardholder and card issuer)
  3. the infrastructure provided by the card scheme to support the secure protocol (access control server)

The protocol allows merchants to authenticate cardholders during an online purchase, thereby reducing the likelihood of fraudulent usage of cards and chargebacks. It does this by prompting users for a password or other forms of authentication before completing the transaction.