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Why EMV Isn’t Enough: 3D Secure Necessary To Curb Online Fraud

EMV has long been touted as a superior solution for controlling fraud at the physical point of sale, but critics say that it just moves fraud online where EMV is totally ineffective. However, a new analysis of the EMV migration in the U.K. points to evidence that EMV, in conjunction with 3D Secure, actually did help to reduce both card-present and online fraud in a very material way. Curious to learn more?


For U.S. consumers, issuers and merchants transacting in the online channel, the perceived reality has long been this: Europe’s successful EMV migration is pushing fraud abroad, and unless the U.S. upgrades to EMV as well, this fraud will take root domestically, causing millions of dollars in theft and loss.

Of course, there are critics who believe the U.S. needs to seek different solutions, but a newly released white paper from TSYS suggests that even if implemented, EMV would not be enough to protect the U.S. commerce ecosystem from the threat of fraudsters.

Jonathan Hancock, global director of fraud management solutions at TSYS, reasons that instead, the U.S. EMV migration needs to coincide with a transition to 3D Secure. Developed by Visa, the protocol was launched specifically to curb card-not-present (CNP) fraud in Europe due to EMV’s ineffectiveness at preventing this type of card fraud. (Jump to 2:30) .

At its inception, 3D Secure suffered from lackluster adoption among consumers, merchants and issuers. But, that wasn’t 3D Secure’s only issue. It was further marred by usability issues that increased friction. But, Hancock suggests 3D Secure has since improved.

“The technology’s moved on quite significantly since those early days,” Hancock told Market Platform Dynamics (MPD) CEO Karen Webster in an interview. “3D Secure authentication is now all but completely invisible. It runs very much in the background and has no interruption in the cardholder purchase (Jump to 3:28).”

In a candid conversation, Webster probed Hancock about the EMV migration, whether he sensed any urgency in the coming liability shift that will soon affect the U.S. (Jump to 5:17) and why he felt that, despite criticism, 3D secure was the best alternative for fighting CNP fraud in the wake of EMV (Jump to 7:35).

TSYS’ full report examines the adoption of EMV in the U.K. and fraudsters’ reaction to the shift, and makes the case that EMV by itself will not go far enough toward protecting online and mobile channels.

 Jonathan Hancock, Global Director of Fraud Management Solutions, TSYS

In his current role as Global Director of Fraud Management Solutions, Jonathan is responsible for setting and driving the strategic development of TSYS’ existing fraud management solutions, along with solution innovation and new product development. Prior to joining TSYS in 2009, Jonathan’s career in payment card fraud prevention included leadership positions at Barclaycard, Travelex and Visa Europe.

To hear Webster’s and Hancock’s full conversation on the report, listen to our podcast below.


*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.


New PYMNTS Study: Subscription Commerce Conversion Index – July 2020 

Staying home 24/7 has consumers turning to subscription services for both entertainment and their day-to-day needs. While that’s a great opportunity for providers, it also presents a challenge — 27.4 million consumers are looking to cancel their subscriptions because of friction and cost concerns. In the latest Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, PYMNTS reveals the five key features that can help companies keep subscribers loyal despite today’s challenging economic times.

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