If you accept American Express, you can bring greater peace of mind to yourself and your customers by enrolling in American Express SafeKey. SafeKey uses 3D Secure 2.0 technology to verify a cardholder's identity through the exchange of behavioral information, such as determining whether the customer is using a familiar device and if the purchase they're making fits their established spending patterns.

How SafeKey works

If you enable SafeKey on your eCommerce website, an extra level of verification takes place when a customer attempts to check out. Usually, this takes place in the background and leaves the customer out of the process — keeping their checkout frictionless.

In the rare occasion (about 5% of the time) that the verification process identifies the transaction as "high-risk," the customer will be prompted to take one additional step to authenticate their purchase. This can take the form of a One-Time Code (OTC), a 6-digit number emailed to the customer. Verification can also request the 3-digit number from the back of the cardholder's American Express card, which differs from the security code that appears on the card's front. Sometimes, both pieces of information are requested.

The customer will have 10 minutes to authenticate with the requested information. If they fail, they'll need to restart the transaction. If they succeed, the purchase will be completed.

Good for customers, good for merchants

American Express SafeKey helps firmly establish the identity of an online customer, keeping their card from being used fraudulently. This helps ease one of the major fears of shopping online: theft of personal information. The customer can also be confident in using their card to shop at your online store, because they know they'll be secure and protected.

On the merchant end, your risk of being harmed by fraudulent purchases will be vastly reduced. You'll be protected from chargebacks and loss of merchandise and income to fraudulent buyers. It's a winning situation for everyone — except criminals.