3D Secure is an additional security layer for online credit and debit card transactions that adds an authentication step for customers making online purchases.


3D Secure is safer than processing cards normally, for you and your customers. By enabling 3D Secure alongside Braintree's fraud tools, you can reduce your risk of fraud and chargebacks.

Enabling 3D Secure also allows you to accept credit cards that you could otherwise not accept due to restrictions (e.g. Maestro).


Enabling 3D Secure does not prevent your business from being identified in any Visa fraud or chargeback monitoring programs. Learn more about Visa fraud and chargeback programs in our blog.


We currently support 3D Secure for most merchants in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia Pacific regions. 3D Secure is not automatically enabled in production accounts. It is only compatible with certain configurations and does not support recurring billing. If you’re unsure whether or not your configuration is compatible, contact our Accounts team.

Card brands

Most card brands have their own 3D Secure services. We support the following:


With Braintree, a 3D Secure lookup is performed during the checkout process. If the customer is enrolled in 3D Secure, the Braintree SDK may display an embedded window provided by the card issuer for the customer to authenticate their purchase. The cardholder will be prompted by this window to verify their identity – which is typically done by entering a password – if either of the following is true:

  • The card-issuing bank always requires the customer to enter a password when making an online purchase
  • The card-issuing bank identifies the transaction as risky

3D Secure details and statuses for each transaction can be viewed in the Transaction Details page in the Control Panel. The 3D Secure status code indicates whether or not the authenticated transaction resulted in a liability shift.


Depending on your pricing model, there may be an additional per transaction fee to process 3D Secure transactions. If you’re unsure which pricing model you’re on, contact our Accounts team for fee information.


In certain cases, 3D Secure can shift liability for chargebacks due to fraud from you to the customer’s bank. Liability shifts for fraudulent chargebacks will be based on the transaction's status code. The following 3D Secure status codes will result in a liability shift:

  • authenticate_successful
  • authenticate_attempt_successful
  • authenticate_successful_issuer_not_participating

You can learn more about these statuses in our developer docs.


Not all transactions processed with 3D Secure automatically shift liability – and a shift in liability does not always trigger automatic representation for the chargeback. You will still need to monitor your chargebacks and complete any action required for each one.

Maestro cards

In most instances, Maestro cards rely on using 3D Secure technology. While enabling 3D Secure does allow for more flexibility to accept Maestro cards, you can't use recurring billing with Maestro cards when 3D Secure is enabled.

Regardless of whether you have 3D Secure enabled on your account, you should never process a Maestro transaction by entering the card number directly in the Control Panel. Maestro transactions created in the Control Panel might initially appear to successfully settle, but they will eventually be rejected.


To start supporting 3D Secure, you’ll need to update your code via the API and then contact our Accounts team to have it enabled.

Special note on Amex

American Express Safekey is not enabled automatically with 3D Secure, and is only available to merchants who process American Express via Amex Direct. Contact our Accounts team to confirm your Amex setup and enable Safekey.


If you're based in the US and are using Amex SafeKey, there are additional setup and integration steps you will need to follow. First, you'll need to contact our Accounts team to begin the setup process. Then, you'll need to update your integration.

3D Secure 2.0

We are currently working on upgrading our 3D Secure integration in preparation for 3DS 2.0 and PSD2 Strong Consumer Authentication (SCA) compliance requirements in 2019. To sign up for updates on 3DS 2.0 and PSD2 SCA requirements, email three-d-secure-2.0@braintreepayments.com.

Still have questions?

If you can’t find an answer, contact our Support team

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