Most of us, at some point or another, have used a service or acquired a product over the internet which required a payment. Invariable we have reached out for our wallets or purses, took out a credit card and effected the payment. It easy and its fast but its not done without some trepidation - what is the card number is stolen?
The impact the internet has on our lives needs no introduction; all this activity on the internet also requires that payments flow securely across it to pay for products or services and the credit card has emerged as the most natural way to make these payments; how else can payments be made in real time, across different time zones, different languages, language barriers and on a global level.
The same internet however has created problems for credit card use because it's easy for someone to use the anonymity of the internet to use a stolen card number. The card industry responded at first by protecting the interest of the card holder - the card holder had the right to dispute a payment made online and have the money refunded - a process commonly called a chargeback in the industry.
This off course has not augur well for businesses accepting payments online as they were left carrying the burden of online credit card fraud. Clearly a solution was desperately needed, a solution based not on regulations but on technology to eliminate the problem at the source and make online payments safe for card holders and the online businesses alike.
The solution has been a number of years in the making and is called 3DSecure; it encompasses schemes operated by the major card brands. Visa calls its scheme 'Verified by Visa', while MasterCard calls its scheme 'Secure Code'. 3DSecure works by allowing a card holder to identify himself directly to his own bank; it harnesses the internet to allow real time collaboration between the bank that issues the card, the bank that collects payments for an online business and the card holder himself; A payment gateway is involved that orchestrates this collaboration seamless and transparently.
For a business accepting payments online, 3DSecure is a dream come true. Payments are accepted online without the risk of chargeback. Businesses can grow their online operations without costly verifications and losses to fraud.
For a card holder, if his card is still not participating in 3DSecure he will not notice any difference when he makes a payment, even if the online business is participating. Should his card be enrolled, however, after he submits his credit card number and general details he will find himself automatically redirected to a web page operated by his bank. Here he will see a personalized message registered on enrollment as a security measure to assure him he arrived at his bank's website. He will then identify himself through a password and on completion will be redirected back to the original website to finish off the payment process. The whole process is completed in less than 30 seconds. The card holder needs not worry about having his card number stolen - without his password the payment would be rejected and the password is shared only with his own bank and no one else.
The Endeavour Payment Gateway has been offering 3DSecure for quite sometime and has made several contributions to the industry in making this new technology both reliable and easy to use for its merchants and card holders alike.
In 2009, Endeavour licensed its own technology and become an authorized reseller for 3DSecure for both Visa and MasterCard. More information can be found at www.3dsecurempi.com.
In a world full of insecurities, some things just got safer.