Secure 3D for shoppers


South African banks and e-commerce merchants are implementing 3-D Secure process to help protect you, the cardholder, against unauthorised use of your card when shopping online at 3-D Secure  merchants. 3-D Secure allows you to authenticate yourself while making an online payment, therefore minimising the risk of someone else using your card fraudulently.

What is 3-D Secure?

  • It is also called Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode or American Express SafeKey©
  • It is an authentication service that allows only the cardholder to use the card 
  • It allows you to enter your previously selected PIN/Password or a One Time PIN therefore helping your bank to know it is you shopping online 
  • With 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. 



What can you expect when doing an online 3-D Secure purchase?

If you have already registered or have been registered by your bank, you will be prompted with an additional screen requesting a One Time PIN (OTP) or a PIN/Password.  OTPs 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 3-D Secure or was provided to you by your bank at the time of issuing your card.  Simply enter the OTP, PIN or password in the given space and proceed. 

If it is your first time doing an e-commerce transaction, or you are a regular e-commerce user but have never registered or been registered for the 3-D Secure service, you will be asked to register for 3-D Secure when you make an online purchase.  Please follow the prompts on the screen to register.  Remember, it is in your best interest to be safe.



What does 3-D Secure cost?

There is no cost to you, the cardholder. Visa, MasterCard and the banks fund all SMS and other costs.



What is the benefit of 3-D Secure?

Online shopping is already very secure with high levels of security and encryption whenever you use your credit card. 3-D Secure is the next layer up of security whereby your credit card is further protected from any unauthorised use. So you can shop in total confidence safe in the knowledge that your card is protected at all times.



How do I enroll for 3-D Secure?

ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank, First National Bank and Investec have pre-enrolled all Visa and MasterCard credit card clients for 3-D Secure.  All that you need to do is activate your card once. You can do so now by clicking on the link to your bank in the below section, or you will be invited to do it at a later stage when conducting an online purchase.

  • ABSA
    Please see online guide here.

  • Nedbank
    Please see online guide here.

  • Standard Bank
    Please see online guide here

  • First National Bank
    Log on to your FNB Online Banking profile and follow these prompts:
    1. Select the “My Bank Accounts” tab
    2. Select the “My Cards” sub tab
    3. Click on “Activate Now” in the “Verified by Visa” column for the card that you would like to activate
    4. Capture the relevant details
    5. You will be sent a OTP to your mobile phone which you will then need to enter on your online banking profile
    6. Once done, your card will be activated for 3-D Secure online banking.
  • Investec
    1. Please use your credit card pin when prompted to submit the one-time password (OTP)



Does every South African online retailer use 3-D Secure?

Visa and MasterCard as well as the major South African Banks required all merchants to implement 3-D Secure by the 28th February 2014. After this date, 3-D Secure will become part of the online shopping process for all South Africans online retailers. This is a good thing as, while it may take a few seconds longer for each transaction, it will certainly strengthen the security of online shopping via credit card.



My bank is not listed - how do I enroll for 3-D Secure?

 Please contact your bank to find out how you can enroll for 3-D Secure on your credit card. Certain credit card issuers, such as Diners Club, do not subscribe to 3-D Secure yet. These cardholders will not be required to enter a One-Time Pin or Password when transacting online.



I have activated my credit card for 3-D Secure. What happens the first time I use the card to make an online purchase?

When you select to pay by credit card at checkout, you will be prompted to enter your credit card details. The bank that issued your credit card will then require that you verify that you are in fact the correct cardholder (for example by entering your pin code or one-time password).



What if I do not want to activate my credit card for 3-D Secure?

 If you do not activate your credit card for 3-D Secure before it becomes mandatory, you will be required to pay for your goods or services via alternative online payment methods supported by the merchant website (e.g. EFT).



My card is blocked. How do I reactivate my card for 3-D Secure?

 This depends on your bank. However, in most cases your bank will lock your card after three unsuccessful attempts as a safety mechanism against fraud. If this occurs, please contact your bank’s help desk using the toll-free number on the back of your card.



What if I suspect fraud on my card?

In this case, please block your card as quickly as possible by contacting your Bank Client Services or Card Fraud division, both of which are available 24/7. Once the card is blocked, you will no longer be able make purchases (online, shops) with your card or use it to withdraw cash at the ATMs.



Tips for a good 3-D Secure experience

 Ensure you have the card you intend to use to pay for the transaction ready.

  • Ensure you have your cellphone with you to receive the One Time PIN (OTP) or you know what your PIN or Password is (depending on your bank’s authentication method).
  • After entering your PIN/Password, the system may take a couple of seconds to authenticate your PIN/Password. This is normal – do not close the browser.
  • If you receive an error message, read the message on the screen. If you have entered your PIN/Password incorrectly, you will be allowed to retry. Although infrequent, there may also be other reasons why the transaction failed, in which case we recommend that you follow the instructions on the screen or contact your bank for further assistance.



What if I have more questions related to 3-D Secure?

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