CNP Expo: 3D Secure Making a Comeback?

May 22, 2013

A 15-year-old e-commerce security tool that had languished because it was too burdensome for consumers to effectively use is being talked about again and could come back into the marketplace. However, according to experts on a late afternoon panel at the CNP Expo on Wednesday, all the problems have not been resolved. 3D Secure is an XML-based protocol designed to be an extra layer of security. It’s offered by Visa and MasterCard and adds an extra layer of authentication and inconvenience. Merchants avoided it due to the cost and customer friction, but with fears of new kinds of vulnerabilities, merchants and providers are taking another look.

“We’re at a tipping point now,” said Bob Reany, senior vice president and group head, Authentication Product Strategy for MasterCard, speaking at a session titled “The Changing Face of 3D Secure: Online Security Evolving in Three Dimensions.”

“The mobile phone gives us an opportunity to do it with less consumer challenges than we have now,” Reany said. “The phone is going to make things a lot better for us.”

Experts also expect smartphones soon to be used with fingerprint authentication devices, Reany said. Biometric devices, which would give a positive physical ID, could become popular and might replace many other security devices.

”We’ve all got 28 passwords. You forget them or you write them down,” Reany said.