Financial News

Mastercard SecureCode – a Tremendous Boost of Online Shopping Safety

EPF Last Update: June 3, 2020

What is Mastercard SecureCode?

More and more people are falling in love with the convenience of online shopping. Unfortunately the very high risk of scams and fraud, is making consumers hesitant and giving them reasons not to buy online. The development of the Mastercard SecureCode has introduced innovative steps to address shoppers concerns about the security of online shopping.

Mastercard SecureCode is a private code for your Mastercard account which only you and your bank know, as merchants are unable to see it. This code provides extra protection against fraudulent use of your card when you shop online at participating merchants. It is just like entering your pin at an ATM. By providing shoppers with a unique, personal code for their transactions, SecureCode confirms payment guarantee, and cardholder authorization.

When shopping, you will be required to enter your SecureCode in a specific window before the transaction can be approved. Within only a few seconds, the merchant gets authorization for the purchase, and the transaction is completed.

The program is free and allows you to shop online with more safety than before, at selected, participating merchants. The only drawback is that not all online retailers have signed up for the SecureCode system, often because they are not always aware of remarkable new programs.

The Mastercard SecureCode is quick and easy to use, and once you have submitted an order, you will be required to enter your SecureCode. You can use Mastercard SecureCode from any computer connected to the internet. Contact your financial institution to register for the Mastercard SecureCode system. 

How Mastercard SecureCode Works

  • When you correctly enter your SecureCode when making a purchase from a participating online vendor, the merchant will receive confirmation that you are the authorized cardholder, and the sale will be completed. If you enter the incorrect code, or someone else tries to use your card, the sale will not be completed.
  • Once you are registered with Mastercard SecureCode, you can use any of your existing Mastercard credit or debit cards.
  • There is no limit on how many of your Mastercards you can register, as long each one is registered with a participating financial institution.
  • If your card expires, or billing information changes, advise your card issuer, who will automatically update your profile info.
  • The online purchase process will not change when you use SecureCode, except that you will be prompted to provide your SecureCode during checkout.
  • You are still able to buy from a retailer who is not registered with the Mastercard SecureCode program, and the normal security and purchase rules will apply. You will not be asked for your SecureCode.
  • Most participating merchants will display the Mastercard SecureCode logo on their site, but even if you don’t see the logo, they may still be registered, and if so, you will be asked for your code.

How merchants can benefit by participating in the Mastercard SecureCode program.

If you are an online retailer who has not registered your business with the Mastercard SecureCode plan, you could be losing out on sales. Thanks to awareness campaigns about the dangers of online card fraud, shoppers are tending to use merchants where there is extra security to protect their interests. Vendors who offer added protection are reported to be getting a bigger share of sales.

There are two major ways a vendor can benefit from enrolling in the SecureCode program:

  • You are fully protected from charge backs relating to “cardholder unauthorized” or “cardholder not recognized” reports for all correctly processed Mastercard and Maestro transactions. This is a great benefit in view of the fact that studies have shown up to 70% of charge backs from e-commerce transactions are for those particular reasons.
  • Consumers who see the SecureCode logo on your site build up confidence in the security and safety of your services, and will very inclined to support your business.
  • An extra benefit for vendors in the Mastercard SecureCode program is permission to place a free ad on the Mastercard consumer website.

Note that the Mastercard SecureCode is only available through your payment processor, and to start using it you need to display the logo on your website, and make sure that you send all transaction authentications to the card issuer via the authorization process.

Once the SecureCode system is on your website, and has been successfully tested – you are ready to go!

A boon for both buyers and sellers.

The more you, as a buyer, know about identity theft, fraud, and the dangers of illegal use of your credit card, the better you will be able to protect yourself. An excellent way is to sign up for the SecureCode plan, and as far as possible shop at internet stores who use the Mastercard SecureCode system. Bear in mind that your transactions are kept completely private, as only you know what your code is. Online stores that purchase from will not see it.

Mastercard has announced that the SecureCode method is available, and accepted, in more than one million online stores around the world, in 122 countries. So whether you travel to a distant land, or purchase from a store which is out of the US, you can use your card with safety and peace of mind. The process has been proclaimed to be fast, simple, convenient, and effective.

Merchants enrolled in the system will see a reduction in charge backs from unauthorized and consent of the cardholder. In these cases the merchant is held responsible for any losses. If the SecureCode is properly implemented at the point of sale, those type of charge backs will no longer occur. Of course, sellers should still pay attention to reducing charge backs in other areas, like getting signed proof of delivery, and making sure the buyer knows what is being purchased, especially if it is from pictures on a website.

With fraud and identity theft so drastically on the rise, the Mastercard SecureCode program offers some unique safety features, with proven success, including the prevention of card cloning by devices used by fraudsters.

Stay safe, stay protected – and give serious consideration to signing up to the Mastercard SecureCode program.

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