Cards: Authenticating your transactions with 3D Secure

From January 1, 2021, a new piece of EU legislation - the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) - requires that all online payments within the EU (also Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) go through an extra step of authentication.

What does this mean for me?

Whether you're making a purchase using your computer, mobile phone, or other digital devices, you may be guided through an additional security check to verify your identity. This will help your bank/card issuer know it's really you making that purchase and protect you against fraud.

When it comes to card purchases specifically, whenever you're making a deposit with your card, you'll need to authenticate your transaction before it can be approved.

While you're usually redirected to your card provider's website to authenticate your transaction, the system used will depend on your bank/financial institution. You might need to input a one-time passcode you'll receive via SMS or email, confirm the transaction through your mobile app, or even by using your biometrics (fingerprint or through facial recognition).

In fact, if you usually make your online purchases using your Visa or Mastercard, you might already have experienced 3D secure authentication systems such as 'Visa Secure' or 'Mastercard ID check'.

If you’re unsure about the specific authentication method your card issuer is using, get in touch with them by calling the phone number on the back of your card or getting in touch through their app or website.


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