What is MasterCard SecureCode

what is mastercard securecode

MasterCard SecureCode: Why Is It Important?

Online shopping is undeniably convenient, but the risks that come with it can be real trouble, too. This is where MasterCard SecureCode comes in to create a much safer space for shoppers. It protects consumers from instances of fraud and identity theft, among other online security issues. Aside from shoppers, MasterCard SecureCode also protects a business's online merchant account by minimizing chargebacks. It’s a win-win for both merchants and customers!

Addressing issues related to payment guarantees and identities of cardholders, MasterCard SecureCode confirms whether or not the transactions made on the card were actually done by the cardholder before it is finalized. But what really makes it important? Here are the things you need to know about MasterCard SecureCode set up for online credit card processing.

What Is MasterCard SecureCode and Why Was It Started?

The MasterCard SecureCode is a 3D Secure program adopted by MasterCard for the security of its customers. This is a private code sent to MasterCard account holders’ mobile numbers or email addresses that provides additional security to every transaction. The MasterCard 3D Secure code is only for one-time use and is only available to the customer. It won’t be shared with merchants when they are making a purchase. However, online stores are informed of the customer’s 3D Secure authentication.

This feature alone greatly reduces the risk of chargebacks, as it shifts the liability to the customer. That said, it’s easy to see that MasterCard SecureCode works well for both online sellers and shoppers.

SecureCode was mainly implemented to provide additional security to online transactions, be it for debit or credit cards. With the many instances of online fraud, Arcot Systems developed this protocol to improve the security of online payments.

Where To Find MasterCard SecureCode

Make no mistake though, MasterCard SecureCode is not a replacement of the authorization approval. Instead, it’s an additional step that acts as a one-time password (OTP).

Merchants can add a MasterCard SecureCode logo to let shoppers know that they are implementing this security feature on their website. For shoppers, their OTP is sent over as an SMS and is required per transaction.

This OTP is auto-generated by the issuing bank. As soon as the customer receives the OPT text, there is a set time limit of usually 60 seconds and they need to enter it correctly on the pop-up page of the merchant website.

To get this feature, customers must choose to sign up for a MasterCard SecureCode through their card issuing bank. For other banks, however, this is an automatic security feature for the cards they offer.

That said, both merchants and online buyers have to have signed up for the MasterCard SecureCode to function.

What Does It Look Like?

The MasterCard SecureCode logo looks closely like MasterCard’s signature default logo. The only difference is that the company’s name is written in bold and red with the word “SecureCode” written below it in yellow. Any online merchant with the exact logo embedded on their site, be it on their homepage or checkout page, would automatically show that the merchant is registered with MasterCard SecureCode.

Showing the logo also authenticates the website, a sign that it conducts legitimate business.

What Is the MasterCard SecureCode Process?

The SecureCode works two ways — for personal users and for businesses.

How does it work for online shoppers? The first thing they need to see is if their issuing bank is a part of MasterCard’s list of participating financial institutions. If it is, online buyers can then enroll their card for 3D Secure.

Meanwhile, merchants can check with their transaction processors if they already support SecureCode. The MasterCard SecureCode setup is pretty straightforward. Merchants only need to install a plugin on their site.

When it is up and running, MasterCard will then send merchants the MasterCard SecureCode logo so they can set it up as well. As previously mentioned, this will be a beacon to buyers that the site is legitimate, and it is an active participant of the SecureCode program.

MasterCard SecureCode FAQs

Here you’ll find the answers to the frequently asked questions of MasterCard SecureCode users:

  • Will MasterCard SecureCode shoppers be able to purchase from merchants that did not participate in the MasterCard SecureCode program?

Yes, SecureCode program participants can purchase from any online merchant. However, SecureCode won’t be applicable during the transaction. Online shoppers wouldn’t need to input their OTP to proceed with their purchase.

  • How will online merchants recognize SecureCode participant buyers?

Participating merchants will automatically require participating account holders to input their SecureCode pin. Meanwhile, buyers can distinguish participating merchants by looking for the MasterCard SecureCode logo.

  • What happens when the registered debit/credit card expires?

Visit your issuing bank and check if they have automatically updated your SecureCode with the new details of your card.

  • What if buyers cancel their existing cards and get a new account?

Online shoppers would need to register their debit or credit card again to SecureCode. Although, most MasterCard partner banks automatically enroll their new accounts to the SecureCode program.

  • What do online clients do if they do not receive their OTP?

Account-holders who do not receive their OTP should first check if they have the updated contact number listed on their information. If it’s not, they should visit their issuing bank to make corrections. OTPs are sent to the number on the bank’s list of information.

  • How long does one OTP last?

The common length for an OTP is five (5) minutes and it becomes unusable after for the security of the account holder. They can request for another OTP to be sent again as a replacement.

  • Is SecureCode necessary for MasterCard online merchants?

This is completely the online merchant’s prerogative. However, SecureCode offers advantages that are too good to miss. For one, SecureCode reduces instances of fraud as it requires the OTP which is only known by the buyer. Another advantage is that it guarantees payments. It prevents unauthorized transactions to push through.

MasterCard SecureCode also prevents chargebacks which negatively impacts online merchants. Chargebacks happen when a customer files a dispute against the transaction made on their account. In some cases, customers falsely claim that they didn’t make the transaction for reasons such as change of mind among others. This will hurt the online business’ revenue. But, with an extra layer of authentication, it’s harder for them to prove that they did not make the transaction they want to dispute.

Overall, SecureCode benefits both online shoppers and online merchants alike. This also extends the reach of buyers of sellers which allows overseas MasterCard users, including MasterCard, owned companies such as Maestro. There are over 122 locations worldwide that support SecureCode. It offers secure payments anytime, anywhere.

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