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Frequently Asked Questions

– 3D Secure for Online Shopping –

what it is / why we have it / how to sign up / the benefits / how it works


What is 3D Secure?


3D Secure provides an extra step during the online payment process to ensure that only you, the cardholder, use your card.

Also known as Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode or Amex Safekey, it allows you to enter your previously selected PIN/Password or a One Time Pin – helping your bank to know it is you shopping online.

With an additional focus on the safety of e-commerce transactions, your bank may have already registered you for the service, or you may be required to register during your next online purchase.


Why do we have 3D Secure?


South African banks and e-commerce merchants are implementing 3D Secure to help protect you, the cardholder, against unauthorized use of your card when shopping online at 3D Secure merchants.

3D Secure allows you to authenticate yourself while making an online payment, therefore minimizing the risk of someone else using your card fraudulently.


How do you sign up?


ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank, First National Bank, Investec and Capitec have pre-enrolled all Visa and MasterCard credit card clients for 3D Secure.

All you need to do is activate your card once.

You can do so now by clicking on the link to your bank in the section below.


Click on your bank name to activate / read more about 3D Secure:



The benefits of 3D Secure


Online shopping is already very secure with high levels of security and encryption whenever you use your credit card.

3D Secure is the next layer up of security whereby your credit card is further protected from any unauthorized use.

So you can shop in total confidence safe in the knowledge that your card is protected at all times.


How does it work?


If you’ve already been registered at your bank you will be prompted with an additional screen requesting a One Time PIN (OTP) or a PIN/Password.

OTP’s are sent to the cellphone number your bank has on record for you, whilst a PIN or Password is a secret code you have chosen when you registered for 3D Secure or was provided to you by your bank at the time of issuing your card.

Simply enter the OTP, PIN or password and proceed. If you have never registered or been registered for 3D Secure, you will be asked to register for 3D Secure when you make an online purchase.

The first time you use your 3D Secure enabled credit card for shopping online, the bank that issued your credit card will request that you verify that you are in fact the correct cardholder by entering your pin or OTP.


Why you receive a 'Failed Authentication' error


Typically, if a cardholder is registered for authentication they will be familiar with the process to correctly authenticate on the 3-D Secure authentication screen.

There may, however, be occasions where the cardholder does not follow the correct process, or where a card is being used fraudulently.

The following scenarios may occur:

Scenario 1: The cardholder may fail to key in their correct password or one-time pin (max 3 attempts);


Scenario 2:

  1. The cardholder may cancel the pop up or in-line window;  or
  2. The cardholder may close the pop up or in-line window;  or
  3. The pop up or in-line window may time out;  or
  4. The content of the window may be corrupt due to an error; or
  5. The cardholder browser may block the pop up.

The above scenarios can be described as:

  • Failed Authentication (scenario 1)
  • Error during Authentication (scenarios 2)

Visa and MasterCard:

If authentication fails (scenario 1), you will receive an “N”  error response, declining the transaction automatically and stopping further processing because the cardholder could not authenticate themselves.

In all of the (scenario 2) cases the transaction will time out, not be processed and will have to be re-initiated. Typical transaction error responses may include “Timeout”, “MPI Pending” or “Secure3D Processing”.


Have more questions?


If you have questions related to the 3D Secure process or need to change your mobile number, please contact your bank for assistance.

Call: 086 166 6767 - To Speak to one of our specialized consultants