Token payment upgrade to 3DS

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Upgrading token payment implementation to comply with 3DS

This article is incomplete. It may change significantly without any notice, so don't rely on any content you find here yet. Please check back later.
This tutorial was created to help merchants that already have token payment integration with Barion. If you are planning to create a new integration, please read this description!


Token payment is a solution that enables the merchant to charge the payer without the presence of them. It is a powerful tool to conduct subscription-like or payer-not-present scenarios. This scenario requires the merchant to create a token that would act as an identifier for the payer's funding source. To attach that token to a valid funding source the merchant had to do several things:

  1. Create an alphanumeric token
  2. Conduct an initial payment in which this token gets registered in the Barion system
  3. Refer to this token in a subsequent payment attempt


This meant that as far as this token referenced a valid (and still available) funding source the merchant could create payments without any limitations. Basically, this token symbolized the funding source. It was up to the merchant to decide what it is used for, neither Barion nor the card issuer was aware of the nature of the subsequent payments.

This funding source can be either a card or an e-money wallet and this is up to the payer to choose. In case the payer chooses to fund the payment from their e-money wallet there is no further need for extra security. On the other hand, when it comes to card payment the authentication process changed with the new Strong Customer Authentication directive and the 3DS v2 protocol.


To make sure that the payer has more control over these token scenarios and the card issuer knows more about the payment scenarios several things need to be changed.

Token payment scenarios

First of all the merchant has to decide what kind of token payment scenario is suitable. These scenarios are the following:

  • One-click payment: The payer clicks on the "Purchase" button but the charge happens in the background without the payer leaving the merchant's site.
  • Recurring payment: The payer authorizes the merchant (at the initial payment) to charge their card periodically without being present.
  • Merchant initiated payment: The payer authorizes the merchant to charge their card without restrictions.

These scenarios have different properties and requirements, this table below summarizes the key differences.

Scenario Payer present? Amount Frequency Liability
One-click payment Yes Various Various Card issuer
Recurring payment No Fixed Various Card issuer
Merchant initiated payment No Various Various Merchant


Payer present: indicates whether the payer is present during the subsequent payments. During the first (initial) payment, the payer is always present in every scenario.
Amount: specifies whether the amount of the payments can change from payment to payment or must be the same.
Frequency: specifies whether it is mandatory to wait a fixed number of days between payments or the charges can happen ad-hoc.
Liability: describes the entity who is liable for the payment in case of fraud

The Recurring Payment scenario has some extra restrictions. The merchant has to specify two additional properties in the Payment/Start request:

  • RecurringExpiry: The date after the subsequent charges should not accepted.
  • RecurringFrequency: The minimum days the merchant has to wait between payments.

Both properties are located in the PurchaseInformation property and must be specified if this scenario is selected.

To help you decide on a suitable scenario, please use the decision graph below:


The intended scenario must be specified in the new ReccurenceType property (located in the Payment/Start request)

Usage of TraceId

3DS authentication requires another identifier. This new identifier is used to differentiate these token payment scenarios and help the issuer control what is a non-fraudulent transaction.

So from now on, there will be two IDs for every payer-not-present scenario:

  • RecurrenceId for the funding source: this identifies the source of the money (could be card or wallet)
  • TraceId (new) for the nature of the charge: this identifies the type of token payment scenario the merchant is conducting.

This new TraceId is generated and stored by the card issuer. The Id is available in the GetPaymentState response once the charge is successfully completed.

The TraceId must processed from the GetPaymentState response and must be attached to the payment in merchant's system.

Once the TraceId is acquired it must be sent in the Payment/Start request to identify the scenario. This is crucial for the card transactions otherwise they could be declined. A TraceId can only be used again if:

  • the funding source is the same (technically the RecurrenceId is the same)
  • the token payment scenario is the same (technically the RecurrenceType is the same)
  • the request complies with the scenario restrictions
The TraceId must specified in the Payment/Start for the subsequent token charges.

If any of these parameters change the merchant has to request new IDs. What to request depends on what needs to change. This is described in the Registering Token IDs section.

Since the RecurrenceId identifies the funding source it is possible that with the same RecurrenceId the merchant uses several different TraceId tokens. This is required in a scenario when the merchant wants to provide a new type of token payment for the payer but does not wants to redirect them to Barion again. This is described in the Multiple Trace IDs section.

3DS v2 authentication

The new more secure 3DS v2 authentication must be conducted for every online card payment. These token payment scenarios also need to use these new secure way of authentication. The initial payment must be authenticated every time although the subsequent payments may be exempted in certain cases.

  • For One-click scenarios the payer is always present so for every purchase the payer must be authenticated via 3DS v2 (this does not mean that they will be challenged every time)
  • For Recurring scenarios the initial payment must be authenticated and as long as the TraceId remains the same the subsequent payments are exempted from authentication.
  • For Merchant initiated scenarios the initial payment must be authenticated and as long as the TraceId remains the same the subsequent payments are exempted from authentication.

This table summarizes the 3DS authentication requirements for different token scenarios.

Scenario Initial payment Subsequent payments
One-click payment ✔️ ✔️
Recurring payment ✔️
Merchant initiated payment ✔️

Technical changes required

The technical changes depend on what type of token scenario is needed for the business. It is important to notice that these scenarios can be implemented beside each other, a merchant is not required to choose only one type of token payment. The main goal is to appropriately use each scenario.

Technical changes for Recurring payments

1. For the token registration in the Payment/Start request the new properties have to be specified:

  • "RecurrenceType" : "RecurringPayment" to indicate the scenario
  • PurchaseInformation.RecurringExpiry and PurchaseInformation.RecurringFrequency for the limitations

The TraceId property should not be specified.

2. Once the callback is received and the payment was successful in

Multiple Trace IDs


Registering Token IDs

Changing the funding source

This could happen if the funding source becomes invalid for some reason (card gets deleted or expires) or the merchant decides to use that token for another payer. In this case, the merchant has to register the token again. To do this the InitiateRecurrence field has to be set to false and the RecurrenceId has to be specified.

Changing the token payment scenario


Starting from January 1 the 3DS authentication will be mandatory for all of our partners!

What happens if I don't change my implementation