Overview of 3D Secure acceptance in the EU as of 2022

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Overview of 3D Secure acceptance in the EU as of 2022

With PSD2 coming into effect and demands for Strong Customer Authentication implementation across Europe, the question of 3D Secure acceptance is vital for online merchants. Why do some countries have better acceptance than others? How to improve this ratio and secure more revenue for your business? Read on to find out!

3D security authentication is an additional layer of safeguarding your business. During any payment with a credit or debit card, a third domain enters the transaction (the payment service provider) — thus the 3D acronym. A customer is required to either send a PIN and CVV2 code for their card or a one-time password sent to the phone number on file, ensuring their identity. Once a 3D verification is complete, a vendor is no longer liable for the outcome of the operation.

Thus said, while the 3D secure procedure adds another step to the checkout process, it is a huge benefit for all the parties involved. It ensures the liability is shifted to the payment service provider, which benefits the vendor. It helps filter out fraudsters at checkout, which benefits payment service providers. And it shows customers their data is treated seriously, ensuring every purchase they perform is a safe transaction and building customer loyalty.

3D Secure acceptance rates 2022

Various countries across the EU have different rates of 3D security authentication acceptance, in Covery’s experience. Just to clarify, a transaction can go through, fail due to not passing the 3D secure verification, or due to other reasons, like checkout timeout. The numbers below represent the percentage of transactions processed by Covery partner, Genome.

Generally, the more payments are made with credit cards in any given country, the more advanced the infrastructure for them is, and the higher the acceptance rate is. Nordic countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway have one of the best credit card payment infrastructures in Europe, and the 3DS acceptance rate there is generally above 83%

On the other hand, Greece and Belgium show quite low acceptance rates, 35%, and 46% respectively. In Belgium, the percentage of mobile payments is quite high, while Greeks prefer to book online but pay in cash upon arrival.

How to improve this situation?

Many vendors refused to enable 3D verification on their own, due to additional costs of implementation and fear of introducing an additional friction point to their checkout process. However, after PSD2 was enacted back in 2019, SCA became mandatory, and 3D secure authentication is now expected by every regulator.

To ensure your 3D secure acceptance rate is high when doing business with the US and various countries across the EU, you can do several things:

  • Provide multiple payment options. If you see that your customers come from a certain country, explore the most popular payment methods there and try to integrate with them if possible. Supporting secure payment options like e-wallets is also a wise choice.
  • Have an anti-fraud solution in place. If you can ensure you are dealing with a safe transaction without invoking 3D secure verification, do it. Anti-fraud tools like Covery help keep fraud rates consistently low.
  • Inform your customers of upcoming 3D checks. Make this information clearly noticeable in FAQs and on checkout page, so that your customers know what to expect.
  • Assess customer behavior with 3D secure. Analyze the frequence of invoking it and configure manual 3D Secure authentication if need be. Covery’s rule-based risk logic engine allows doing this from the start.
  • Use the latest stable 3D secure version. While 2.0 is the golden standard, there are bound to be 2.2 and further versions. Communicate with your acquirer to ensure you are able to easily implement the latest 3DS versions when the time comes.


As you can see, the situation with 3D secure authentication acceptance is not stable across Europe as of early 2022. However, with upcoming regulatory requirements, it’s better to be on the safe side and implement 3D verification technology for your payments. Covery can help, by providing 3DS 2.0 compliant features and functions, alongside many other fraud prevention and risk management capabilities. Contact us and learn about the value Covery can provide for your business!