Mastercard SecureCode is an extra layer of credit card security based on the 3D Secure 2.0 protocol, and is designed to protect both cardholders and merchants from the fraudulent activities of online thieves. When an enrolled cardholder shops at a participating online store, they'll need to use a personal code to verify their transactions. Better yet, the SecureCode Plus option exchanges authentication data in the background, determining if the customer's purchase matches their known devices, location, buying habits, or other behavioral patterns.

How SecureCode works

The SecureCode program comprises two parts: the merchant end and the customer end. Merchants can enroll their online store in SecureCode to enable the extra verification for cardholders enrolled in the program. If a cardholder with SecureCode shops at an eCommerce website without SecureCode, or vice versa, the extra verification will not appear. If merchant and customer are both enrolled, the additional SecureCode authentication will be needed and the transaction will be protected from fraud.

Not only does SecureCode protect cardholders from unauthorized use of their card number, it also protects against phishing attempts by displaying a customer's "personal greeting" — a customizable message the customer creates themselves — in the pop-up box where the customer needs to enter their SecureCode. If the personal greeting is wrong, the customer will know not to enter their SecureCode.

Protection for buyers and sellers alike

Mastercard SecureCode helps verify the identity of a customer, a task that can be difficult in eCommerce. Enrolling your online store in the SecureCode program demonstrates to customers that you take security seriously. All customers are more likely to buy when they feel safe.

As an online seller, you'll also benefit because the decreased opportunity for fraud means you'll be subjected to fewer fraudulent transactions and chargebacks. Selling online can be an uncertain game, but you can score a win for merchants and customers, and a loss for internet thieves.