The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Adding 3d Secure To An E-commerce Website.

There is no doubt that 3D Secure and Verified by Visa are successful anti- fraud techniques and are definitely options that merchants should discuss with their internet payment provider. This added security step has been proven to reduce fraudulent transactions and increase consumer confidence when paying with credit cards online, but there are still many factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to add 3D Secure to a website.

Carl Buchalet CEO of Cashtronics payment systems explains how at Cashtronics they look at each merchant individually and decide whether or not 3D Secure is in the merchants best interest.

From our experience at Cashtronics the advantages of adding this extra security measure for merchants are clear:

Reduces the risk of fraudulent transactions.
Decreases the number of disputed transactions.
Shifts the financial liability away from the merchant.
Boosts some consumers confidence- often leading to increased sales.

Although there are clear anti-fraud benefits, they need to be carefully weighed against potential revenue losses and problems that can arise from using 3D Secure:

Additional Obstacles to purchase: Each security field that is added to an online form has been proven to dramatically lower the % of successfully completed transactions.
Poor Communication: Many customers have no idea what 3D Secure is; consequently they close the browser window, leading to lost sales.
Security Issues: Some banks require a customer to keep a card with a series of secret codes on it. This is often the same card that is used to authorize wire transfers on the bank account so cardholder then carries this card around with them, exposing them self to hard fraud.
Browser Problem: Sometimes the 3D secure request field is on the bottom of the screen and not seen by the customer- again causing high abandonment rate.
Unfriendly Protocol: The web browser connects to unfamiliar domain names and can cause extra delay and crashes.
Complicated Process: A password is often required and customers often forget it!
Added cost: Many payment providers charge an additional fee for 3D Secure.
NOT Fraud Proof: Many thieves catch cards in the postal mail, so they can usually set up 3D secure on their own fairly easily since they have new cards and enhanced information. Also even the 3D secure system has become the target of some phishing scams.

To reduce the problems that can arise with 3D secure merchants should ask potential internet payment providers the following:

1) Is adding this extra step in the best interest for the business given the field it operates in?
2) What are the additional fees for processing 3D Secure and Verified by Visa?
3) Are 3D secure transactions in house, as outsourcing adds to the cost & difficulty of the transaction and can reduce the level of security.
4) Does the payment provider have experience in processing this type of transaction?

In general, a payment provider should be able to give each merchant an idea of the volume of sales that they will loose depending on their industry, and will then calculate how much can be gained on charge backs and fraud by offering 3D Secure; then it is just a simple calculation to see which case yields a higher ROI.