Internet payments are becoming more secure

Rom Jackson

 · 12/24/2020  · 12/24/2020

From 1st January 2021, new regulations will come into effect across Europe which require most types of internet payments to be made with an extra security layer called 3D Secure (or 3DS). These same regulations will also require card issuers to decline certain payments if they weren’t processed using this extra security layer.

What this means for you is that large payments made online without the merchant prompting you to complete 3DS will be declined by us as part of our regulatory obligations.

3D Secure... where have I heard that before?

3DS is a way of adding extra security to card payments made over the internet. We do this by asking you to verify your payment in the Revolut app before we approve it with the merchant (the company you’re purchasing from).

This way, even if a fraudster was able to get their hands on your card details, they wouldn’t be able to use them to make an online payment where 3DS is involved. You’d get a notification to verify the payment and decline it with a tap in your Revolut app.

Whilst 3DS has been around for a while now, it was optional for merchants to use, and you may have experienced it yourself when you’ve purchased something online if a merchant was using it. Going forward, these new regulations are now making 3DS mandatory for certain types of internet card payments.

How does this affect me?

99% of the time, it won’t. According to our data, this should affect less than 1% of internet card payments.

However, these new regulations will require us to decline certain kinds of internet payments if they were made without 3DS. 3DS can only be triggered by the merchant, and many websites are not set up to use it yet. These merchants will have higher decline rates across their card payments, for all issuers (the financial institution that provides you with your card).

What should I do if my payment is declined?

If your payment is declined due to this regulation, you’ll get a push notification to your Revolut app explaining that this is the case with a link to this post.

If possible, try to split large payments (over €250, or equivalent value) into multiple smaller payments, which are more likely to be exempt from this regulation.

What is Revolut doing to help?

We understand it’s frustrating when you’re trying to make a payment and it doesn’t work. We’ve been working hard to minimise cases where we’d be forced to decline any customer payments by:

  • Enabling support for newer versions of 3D Secure;
  • Building capability to exclude transactions that are not within the scope of the new rules; and
  • Enabling usage of a code that prompts merchants to automatically retry the transaction with 3DS

We’ve also been working closely with regulators to make sure they’re aware that not all merchants are prepared for this change. Through our payment scheme partnerships, we’ve been helping to get these new security standards adopted by as many merchants as possible.

Which payments will be affected?

The new regulation only applies to a transaction if both sides (cardholder and merchant) are in the European Economic Area.

The UK will implement the regulation under a different timeline, so customers in the UK will not be affected until later in 2021.

Customers outside Europe will not be affected.

Ultimately, it means more security

Keeping your account safe from fraud is a top priority for both us and our regulators. Fraudsters are finding ever more sophisticated ways to get to your money, so these measures can make a positive difference when you need it most - despite how inconvenient they may seem.