When you make a purchase online, you might notice that sometimes you are prompted to enter an extra password or code for security. This is called 3D Secure, and it is the gold standard when it comes to credit card security. Depending on your card, 3D Secure is also commonly known as Visa Secure, Mastercard Identity Check, American Express SafeKey, JCB J/Secure, Discover ProtectBuy or UnionPay International 3D Secure.
The name, 3D Secure, comes from the three domains that are involved in the protocol: the issuer, the acquirer and the interoperability domain. The main intention of the protocol is to reduce fraudulent transactions and protect customers.
The protocol works by adding an extra layer of authentication to the cardholder, in addition to the standard information required for a transaction. This usually takes the form of a one-time password (OTP) or two-factor authentication (2FA) that is leveraged to help verify that the cardholder is indeed the rightful owner of the credit card.