Last update 29/01/2019

2. 3-D Secure v2.1 (Available in TEST)

2.1 Introduction

In 2013, the European Commission published a proposal for the revised version of the Payment Services Directive, known as PSD2 to simplify payment processing and create the rules and regulations for payment services in the EU and there began the need for new version of 3-D Secure, v2.1.

The biggest change is that you, as a merchant, are asked to share more data: issuers are hungry for data points to improve the accuracy of their decision ultimately leading to a frictionless scenario, but you are the ones on the front line capturing the data.

The 3DS v2 approach to risk evaluation is more effective, but requires the entire ecosystem to change, allowing you to push the data through to the issuer.

The transaction flow involves the following steps:

1. You send us a DirectLink request for the transaction, containing a number of additional parameters.

These parameter can be devised to three sets:

a. Mandatory parameters that need to be captured in the payment page where the cardholder is entering the card details.

Parameter Description

Exact content of the HTTP accept headers as sent to the merchant from the Cardholder’s browser.

browserColorDepth Value representing the bit depth of the color palette for displaying images, in bits per pixel. Obtained from Cardholder browser using the screen color Depth property.
browserJavaEnabled Boolean that represents the ability of the cardholder browser to execute Java. Value is returned from the navigator java Enabled property.
browserLanguage Value representing the browser language as defined in IETF BCP47. Returned from navigator language property.
browserScreenHeight Total height of the Cardholder’s screen in pixels. Value is returned from the screen height property.
browserScreenWidth Total width of the cardholder’s screen in pixels. Value is returned from the screen width property.
browserTimeZone Time difference between UTC time and the Cardholder browser local time, in minutes.
browserUserAgent* Exact content of the HTTP user-agent header.

*HTTP_ACCEPT and HTTP_USER_AGENT dont have to be sent with browserAcceptHeader and browserUserAgent, otherwise we will fill it with the browser parameters.

Note: Please don't forget to calculate the parameters in your SHA signature.

b. Required additional parameters (cf. Extra request parameters)

c. Recommended parameters (list of parameters) that if sent will have a positive impact on transaction conversion rates. Based on the information contained in these parameters, a potential frictionless authentication flow may take place, where the cardholder won’t need anymore to authenticate himself and therefore a quicker transaction completing is expected.

Our system receives the card number in your request and checks online whether the card is registered in the VISA/MasterCard/JCB/AmEx directory (registered means that identification is possible for the card number, i.e. the card is a 3-D Secure card).

2. Based on the schemes directory response and whether additional parameters in 1.c (Recommended parameters - list of parameters) above were provided (given if the cardholder is registered for 3-D Secure), two potential flows are expected if the cardholder is registered:

2.1. A frictionless flow: The cardholder doesn't physically need to authenticate themselves because the authentication took place in the background without their input. In this case, the liability shift is on the issuing bank.

2.2. A challenge flow: The cardholder needs to identify himself.

i. The answer to the DirectLink request contains a specific payment status and an html code that has to be returned to the customer to start the identification process (cf. Additional return fields). The block of html code will automatically start the identification process between the cardholder (customer) and his issuing bank.

ii. The cardholder identifies himself on the issuing bank’s page.

iii. Our system receives the identification response from the issuer.

iv. If the identification was successful, our system will submit the actual financial transaction to the acquirer.
3. You receive the result of the global identification and online authorisation process via e-Commerce mode feedback channels.

Apart from the standard DirectLink parameters, you also need to send the following information:

Field Description

Fixed value: ‘Y’

Instructs our system to perform 3-D Secure identification if necessary.

HTTP_ACCEPT* The Accept request header field in the cardholder browser, used to specify certain media types which are acceptable for the response. This value is used by the issuer to check if the cardholder browser is compatible with the issuer identification system. For example:
Accept: */*
HTTP_USER_AGENT* The User-Agent request-header field in the cardholder browser, containing information about the user agent originating the request. This value is used by the issuer to check if the cardholder browser is compatible with the issuer identification system. For example: User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)
WIN3DS Way to show the identification page to the customer. Possible values:
  • MAINW: display the identification page in the main window (default value).
  • POPUP: display the identification page in a pop-up window and return to the main window at the end.
  • POPIX: display the identification page in a pop-up window and remain in the pop-up window.
ACCEPTURL URL of the webpage to show the customer when the payment is authorised. (or waiting to be authorised).
DECLINEURL URL to which the customer is redirected if the maximum number of failed authorisation attempts has been reached (10 by default, but which can be changed in the Technical Information page, "Global transaction parameters" tab, "Payment retry" section).
EXCEPTIONURL URL of the webpage to show the customer when the payment result is uncertain.
PARAMPLUS Field to submit the miscellaneous parameters and their values that you wish to be returned in the post-sale request or final redirection.
COMPLUS Field to submit a value you wish to be returned in the post-sale request or output.
LANGUAGE Customer’s language, for example: “en_US”
TP To change the layout of the "order_A3DS" page, you can send a template name/url with this parameter. (go to e-Commerce: Dynamic template).

*HTTP_ACCEPT and HTTP_USER_AGENT will not need to be sent if send browserAcceptHeader and browserUserAgent.

For more information, go to Transaction Feedback.

If the cardholder is not registered, the normal DirectLink response is returned. If the cardholder is registered, the following (additional) fields will be returned:

Field Description
New value: “46” (waiting for identification)

BASE64 encoded html code to be added in the html page returned to the customer.

This tag is added as a child of the <ncresponse> global XML tag. The field HTML_Answer field contains HTML code that has to be added in the html page returned to the customer's browser.

This code will automatically load the issuer bank identification page in a pop-up in the main window, depending on the WIN3DS parameter value.

To avoid any interference between the html tags included in the content of the HTML_ANSWER XML tag, with the rest of the XML returned as a response to the DirectLink request, the HTML_ANSWER content is BASE64 encoded by our system before returning the response. Consequently, this must be BASE64 DEcoded before it is included in the html page sent to the cardholder.

Test Cards

You can use the following test card to simulate a 3-D Secure registered card in our test environment:

Frictionless Flow

Brand Card number Expiry date
VISA 4186455175836497 Any date in the future
5137009801943438 Any date in the future
American Express
375418081197346 Any date in the future

Challenge Flow

Brand Card number Expiry date
VISA 4874970686672022 Any date in the future
5130257474533310 Any date in the future
American Express
379764422997381 Any date in the future

Note: More test cards numbers can be downloaded here.

Incorrect identification

If a transaction is blocked due to incorrect identification, the transaction result will be:



NCERROR = 40001134

*Call Charges: The following is a guide to call charge information from Business landlines within the UK.

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