Observing 3D Secure Trends Over Time


Katie McCarthy


November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022

If you’re balancing authentication fraud, checkout friction, and regulatory obligations, you may have implemented 3D Secure (3DS). And if you’re using 3DS, you probably want to track the performance and share of 3DS transactions across your payments stack. 

At the end of the day, managing 3DS as part of your checkout experience is complicated. Regulatory obligations and implementation can vary by country, issuing bank, and 3DS version, and—even further—the technical requirements for 3DS change all the time. As such, you need to constantly keep an eye on things to ensure your 3DS integration is implemented correctly and isn’t responsible for decreasing sales through cart abandonment. At Pagos, we understand that complexity; through Peacock, our payments data visualization service, we ingest 3DS data and show it back to you so you’re always in the know when it comes to 3DS.

What is 3DS? 

3DS is a customer authentication solution used to prevent fraud during CNP transactions. 3DS stands for 3 Domain Server because it operates in a three domain model:

  • Acquirer domain: The environment of the merchant and acquirer that receives the payment

  • Issuer domain: The environment of the issuing bank that funds the payment

  • Interoperability domain: The system that supports the 3DS technology and allows the parties to transact

In short, 3DS is a technology implementation that adds an additional step in the checkout process by asking customers to provide a password, SMS code, or temporary PIN before authentication. It provides maximum security by digitally confirming the identity of all three parties.

Ultimately, the increased security 3DS provides reduces the instance of fraud and chargebacks and saves money for the business. However, the additional time customers spend in checkout is associated with an increased rate of card abandonment and lower turnover. Not only that, but the inherent friction of 3DS verification can cause customer experience problems—such as longer queues and more complications—which may translate to increased customer service expenses for your business. In an attempt to address 3DS’s impact on customer experience, 3DS technology continues to evolve and there are multiple versions in place; 3DS 2.3 is the latest security standard.

3DS is a regulatory obligation in some markets, such as the European Union. If you have implemented 3DS out of such obligation or merely for authentication reasons, you’ll want to track the share and success of 3DS transactions overtime. Peacock can help!

Using Peacock to Understand 3DS Performance

Peacock has an entire Standard dashboard dedicated to 3DS visualizations. On this dashboard, you can see the share of 3DS transactions overall and by stored credential, 3DS version by region, 3DS response codes, and more.

A key component of this dashboard is that you can track such data over time. A couple factors impact 3DS that make trends over time more helpful than point-in-time analysis. 

For one, 3DS is a substantial technical integration. If you change something in your payments stack that affects the 3DS integration, you may have a higher number of declines. Watching transaction response codes over time will help you realize when a technical error is throwing more declines than usual. Not only that, but the technical specs for a 3DS integration change regularly; you need to always keep ahead of these changes and update your integration accordingly so they don’t impact revenue through lost sales.

For another, the 3DS standards evolve over time. The latest 3DS standard is 2.3. If you're following the evolution of the standard, you may have multiple versions implemented. At times this includes version deprecation. For example, 3DS 1.0 is currently being sunset globally. Looking at the 3DS version by region will help you know if your new or deprecated versions are where you expect them to be.

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