Transaction Authentication Number (TAN)

Reviewed by Apoorva | Updated on Sep 30, 2020

Introduction

A transaction authentication number (TAN) is a one-time code used in the processing of online transactions. Used in America, a TAN represents an additional layer of security beyond a password to securely log into an account or conduct a transaction. Merchants and payment card companies have an incentive to improve transaction security, as better security reduces the possibility of frauds occurring.

What is Transaction Authentication Number (TAN)?

Organizations, such as the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCISSC) create standards that payment card acquirers and processing companies must follow to encrypt the card information at the point-of-interaction (POI) and, later, decrypt and process the transaction. TANs are a way for financial institutions to reduce the possibility of fraud.

They are single-use numbers and provide two-factor authentication for a transaction. The first step of the authentication process includes a password or a personal identification number (PIN) to access the account.

Further, the second level of the process is TAN. Typically, financial institutions provide a list of passwords or passphrases that are valid for authentication. TAN remains valid for single use.

Why Transaction Authentication Number (TAN) is Important?

TANs are mostly used to verify online transactions. When an entity begins a transaction, TAN will be sent via SMS, email, or some other method. The mode of delivery will be authenticated beforehand through an interaction. For example, a bank may send a text message to make sure that the registered mobile number is valid.

During the course of a transaction, the user will receive a text message with TAN, which must be entered in a field on the web form. Upon entering the matching code, the transaction will be processed.

The use of TAN is getting widespread from financial institutions to other sectors as well. For example, the two-factor authentication process of email accounts includes a user to enter the password, followed by the transaction authentication number. The number is retrieved via text message, email, or a telephone call.

Related Terms

  • Employee Provident Fund

    The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement benefits scheme in which employees of an organisation contribute a small portion of their basic pay monthly.   Read more


  • Dormant Account

    If you have a savings or current account and if you have not made any transactions for more than 12 months through it, the account will be listed as an inactive account.   Read more


  • Cost of Funds

    The cost of funds is the interest rate that financial institutions are paying on the funds they use in their business.   Read more


  • Showrooming

    Showrooming refers to the practice of checking out a product in a retail store before buying it from online retailers.   Read more


  • Average Propensity to Consume

    The average propensity to consume can be referred to as the percentage of income spent on goods and services by an individual.   Read more


  • Savings

    Savings represents an individual’s unspent earnings.   Read more


Recent Terms

  • Target Risk

    Target risk assets are a class of assets that are not covered under the coverage of a reinsurance treaty or insurance policy because of a particular risk they possess.   Read more