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Set up Strong Customer Authentication (3DS1 and 3DS2)

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) makes online payments more secure for users and reduces fraud. SCA is part of the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2).

If you take payments from the European Economic Area (EEA), defined as the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, you must implement SCA when you go live.

If you only take payments within the UK, you must implement SCA by 14 September 2021.

To implement SCA, you must set up 3D Secure 2 (3DS2) or 3D Secure 1 (3DS1) payment authentication.

Payment service providers (PSPs) recommend setting up 3DS2. Card schemes, for example Mastercard and Visa, will start retiring 3DS1 in 2022.

How you set up 3DS2 or 3DS1 payment authentication depends on which payment service provider (PSP) you’re using.

Set up SCA with Stripe

You do not need to do anything because we set up 3DS2 on your service by default.

Stripe automatically applies SCA exemptions to transactions where appropriate.

Set up SCA with Worldpay

Worldpay sends all transactions using 3DS2 or 3DS1. 3DS Flex is the Worldpay product that enables 3DS2 payment authentication. You must pay a fee to Worldpay to use 3DS Flex.

Worldpay sends you your 3DS Flex credentials when you connect your live account to Worldpay.

Worldpay does not apply any SCA exemptions to transactions.

Set up 3DS2 (3DS Flex)

  1. In the GOV.UK Pay admin tool, select the account you want to set up on the Overview page.
  2. In Settings, make sure 3D Secure is set to On.
  3. In Your PSP, enter your 3DS Flex credentials.
  4. Select Save credentials.
  5. Select Turn on 3DS Flex.

If you turn off 3DS Flex later, your account will use 3DS1 by default.

Check 3DS1 is enabled

Worldpay enables 3DS1 on transactions by default. You can check if 3DS1 is enabled on your service.

  1. Select the relevant account on the Overview page in the GOV.UK Pay admin tool.
  2. In Settings, select the View link under 3D Secure.
  3. Check 3D Secure is set to On.

Set up SCA with ePDQ

3DS2 is not available for ePDQ. You can only enable 3DS1.

Set up SCA with Smartpay

3DS2 is not available for Smartpay. You can only enable 3DS1.

  1. In the GOV.UK admin tool, select the account you want to set up on the Overview page
  2. In Settings, select the View link under 3D Secure.
  3. Select On.

You do not need to do anything in your Smartpay account.

Smartpay does not apply any SCA exemptions to transactions.

Further information

You can use our reporting API to check the 3DS status of a payment.

For more information on SCA, including payment exemptions, see the GOV.UK Pay page on SCA.