3D Secure stands for Three Domain Secure – the payment industry’s internet authentication standard which has been developed by the major card schemes. Visa has called their version of the scheme ‘Verified by Visa’ and MasterCard have called their equivalent initiative ‘MasterCard SecureCode’. These are both collectively referred to as 3D Secure.
3D Secure authentication requires the cardholder to register their card to take advantage of this service. This is a one time process which takes place on the card issuer’s website and involves the cardholder answering several security questions to which only the card issuer and cardholder will know the answer. The cardholder selects a password and agrees on a secret phrase, which will be used by the card issuer during each online transaction.
3D Secure can be thought of as an online version of ‘Chip and Pin’ technology, whereby the cardholder has a personalised password registered with their card that is entered during the checkout process. 3D Secure is predicted to become the industry standard by the end of 2007 and all online consumers will soon become as familiar with this, as when they enter their ‘Pin’ number at a cash machine or till in a shop.