What is 3DS?

3DS is an authentication solution which provides an extra layer of security for your payments. 3DS requires users to authenticate payments by entering a code or password which is sent to them, or by using fingerprint unlocking on their device.

How does it work?

The flow works like this:

  1. Booking made.

  2. Payment triggered.
    –At this point, the bank decides whether a payment should be authorized.

  3. For payments that need to be authorized, an authorization email is sent to the guest.

  4. The guest receives the email and verifies the payment.

Payments can take longer to process depending on whether they are on session or off session.

  • On session are payments where the user provided their card details and the card was charged at the same time (for example, if a guest books a stay with the booking engine).

  • Off session payments are payments where the user provided their card details earlier, for their card to be charged at a later time (for example, if their card is stored, then charged later for minibar charges).

The processing speed of these depends on how long it takes the guest to verify the payment, but typically On session payments are verified faster.


Which payments are subjected to 3DS?

Physical (not virtual) payments from cards issued in the European Economic Area (EEA) are subjected to 3DS. There are some notable exemptions:

  • Payments below 30 Transactions below €30 are considered “low value” and may be exempted from SCA.

  • Authorization for multiple charges This means that once a guest has validated a card at your property, later payments on that card won't need to be validated.

  • Mail Order and Telephone Orders (MOTO) Please see the question below for information on MOTO transactions.

As with all exemptions, the issuer makes the final decision about whether the payment requires authentication.

When is a transaction considered a MOTO?

According to recent SCA regulation updates, we can now process all third-party payments (payments from OTAs) as MOTO (mail order/telephone order) payments. MOTO payments are applicable for an exemption from 3D Secure verification—but the cardholder's bank makes the final decision.

  1. Guest makes a payment through an OTA.

  2. Our payment providers process the payment, and request an exemption from the cardholder's issuing bank.
    If the bank declines the exemption, no worries, your customer will just have to verify their payment (the same as before).
    If the bank accepts the exemption, the payment will go through without verification, as will all subsequent payments made with that card.


Are preauthorizations subjected to 3DS?

Yes, preauthorizations are subjected to 3DS payment flows just like other payments.


Can I still charge a credit card after the guest has left?

Yes, if the guest has already authorized a payment. Once a guest has validated a card at your property, later payments on that card won't need to be validated.


How can I collect money from guests that do not approve the payment?

To prevent this situation as much as possible, you should try processing payments through your Mews Terminal. There your guest will input a PIN, which means the payment won't require 3DS.

Now that we have multi-charge authentication, you can prevent this by ensuring your guests validate the first payment they make at your property.

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