American Express launches SafeKey in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA | American Express announces the availability of its 3D Secure authentication tool SafeKey in South Africa. 3D Secure aims to authenticate the legitimate online shopper at the time of purchase, and thereby improving the security of online transactions, minimise fraud and merchant losses due to chargebacks.

SafeKey Merchant Plug-In

In order to participate in Safekey, merchants need to integrate with a payment gateway’s “Merchant Plug-In (MPI)”, which allows merchants to validate the cardholder in real-time, during the card payment checkout, with American Express’s SafeKey authentication servers. Cape Town-based online payment gateway provider MyGate says it plans to go live with SafeKey in the first quarter of next year.

American Express SafeKey

American Express SafeKey acts similar to the anti-fraud/chargeback solutions by MasterCard and Visa, respectively MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. Many of the Payment Service Providers already support 3D-Secure authentication as it lowers the risk of getting fraudulent orders and losing money and goods as a result of chargebacks (the legitimate cardholder reclaiming their money).

MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa have been around for quite some time now. Still the technology is often challenged by merchants as a potential conversion killer due to bringing extra hurdles to consumers in the checkout process (besides entering card number, expiry dates and cvc codes, the shoppers also needs to enter one-time passcodes or passwords to complete payment).

Especially in situations whereby the merchants already was prepared to 'challenge' its shoppers, and the cardholder was unaware of the need to enter an extra safety code to secure the payment, it led to unfinished checkout and missed sales.

American Express has taken precausionary measures by pre-enrolling its South African card member base to avoid disruption and inconvenience when shopping online at a SafeKey enabled merchant. American Express SafeKey will be available as of October 20.

American Express SafeKey Demo Video

Please visit the American Express SafeKey website for more information. Click the image below to view the American Express SafeKey Demo.



Another Level of Security

“South Africans are increasingly embracing online shopping as a more convenient way of purchasing goods, with e-commerce transactions growing each year. Safekey adds another level of security for American Express cardholders strengthening the trust for merchants to accept this card brand online,” said Dan Edmiston, managing director of MyGate.

“If South Africa is to see greater growth in the e-commerce market, online retailers need to address this issue of trust. Doing so through implementing systems such as SafeKey will also serve to position a business above their competitors.

MyGate Profile

MyGate, one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing online payment gateways, helps thousands of merchants accept payments online and process billions of Rand annually. Processing methods provided include online, MOTO, recurring payments and debit orders. The company also offers a tokenisation system to eliminate the need for merchants to store customer credit card data.


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