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Mastercard SecureCode

Discover how you can help keep your card protected online with Mastercard SecureCode.

Online shopping makes it easy to browse and buy whatever you want at the click of a button. It also brings a whole suite of security concerns, including debit and credit card fraud.

If you have a Mastercard product, you can add a layer of protection to your online shopping through the SecureCode service. Here, we explain everything you need to know about SecureCode, including how it works, who can use it and what retailers are involved so that you can make the most of this layer of protection.

What is Mastercard SecureCode and how does it work?

SecureCode is designed to help protect your Mastercard credit card or debit card account from unauthorised transactions by providing an additional layer of security to online payments.

When you register for SecureCode, any transaction you make with a participating merchant will require you to enter a unique code or password before the payment can be processed. This helps verify that it’s you making the purchase.

Who can use Mastercard SecureCode?

SecureCode is an optional, complimentary service that’s offered through your card provider. In most cases, you can activate and start using SecureCode by following the steps below:

  1. Go to your card provider’s website. This will have a link to SecureCode enrolment for your card or cards.
  2. Setup your verification method. The most common verification options are SMS codes or passwords. Depending on your provider, you may be prompted to enter your mobile phone number or create a password that you will use for the service.
  3. Shop online. After completing this process, just look for retailers that display the Mastercard SecureCode logo and begin shopping online.

Note that some financial institutions may automatically enrol you in SecureCode as an added layer of protection. When that’s the case, there may be times when your bank will request additional information during the online checkout process to validate your purchase and ensure you are the person making the transaction.

How do I know if a merchant participates in SecureCode?mastercard-securecode-200x100

While Mastercard doesn’t currently offer a complete list of merchants that offer SecureCode, some examples include the following:

  • Air Asia
  • Emirates
  • The Good Guys
  • Harvey Norman
  • Ikea
  • Levi’s

Participating merchants will often display the Mastercard SecureCode logo on their website. When you shop with them, you will be prompted to verify your transaction via SecureCode.

It’s important to note that the information you provide via SecureCode is not shared with the merchant and stays between you and your card provider. Of course, you’ll still be able to make purchases with your card at other merchants that accept Mastercard but don’t offer SecureCode.

Other security services and features

Depending on the retailer and your card issuer, you may also have access to the following security features and services:

  • Mastercard Global Service. This complimentary service is designed to help you if you need to report a lost or stolen card, organise a replacement card or if you have questions about your account. You can contact Mastercard Global Service by calling 1800 120 113 in Australia. Alternatively, the Mastercard website provides a list of global contact numbers so you can call this service from anywhere in the world.
  • Tokenisation. Tokenisation is the process of substituting the 16-digit number on your Mastercard credit card or debit card with a temporary, unique number or “token” and is often used for mobile point-of-sale transactions, in-app purchases or online purchases. If you use your Mastercard credit card or debit card via a mobile wallet service such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, for example, you can gain protection through this process.
  • Online store security. Online retailers use secure web pages to help protect your details and keep them private. If you’re unsure of the protection a retailer offers, check the privacy and security policies to find out more, or contact the customer support team.
  • Card CVC. When you shop online, you’ll be asked to enter your card’s CVC number. Usually this detail is only available on the back of your actual card, so it can help protect you against card-not-present fraud.
  • Account locking service. Some card providers will allow you to temporarily lock your account if you’ve lost or misplaced your card and want to find it.
  • Emergency replacement. Most providers will offer an emergency replacement service if your card is lost, stolen or damaged anywhere in the world. The terms and conditions of emergency replacement vary between providers, with some offering these services at no cost and others charging a fee.
  • Fraud monitoring. Depending on your card provider, you may have the protection of a 24-hour fraud-monitoring service that helps keep your account safe from suspicious activity.
  • Zero liability. Mastercard offers a zero liability policy against unauthorised transactions on eligible accounts. This means you can get refunded for any fraudulent transactions that occur when your card’s been compromised.

Mastercard SecureCode is just one of many security features that helps protect your card details online. Understanding how it works will allow you to get the most out of this service. Not every online retailer offers SecureCode verification, so it’s a good idea to learn about other security features offered by Mastercard, retailers and your card provider so that you can keep your accounts as secure as possible.

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Picture: Shutterstock and Mastercard

Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a Senior Writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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