Amazon EU-MFA

EU Multi-Factor Authentication

  • Organization: Amazon Payment Products
  • Timeframe: 2015-16
  • My role: UX Manager (Leadership presentations, and supporting design work for translations, flows, wireframes, research)
  • Team members: TPM: Vikas Kukreja. Project Lead: Chirag Patel. PM: Kevin Goddard. Sr. UX Designer: Brendan Gramer
  • Resources: Blog Article - Amazon Pay UK


Meeting new European regulators' standards for online payment security was a pending requirement for Amazon to continue doing business in Europe. Multi-factor authentication had to be implemented in phases and be ready to release in a few months. Extra security had to be added to the checkout completion, without impacting sales negatively.

Customer Quotes:
“(The current site) ... is really fast to get through the Amazon checkout.”

Key Challenges

For the customer, our main goal was to keep the checkout as fast as possible while adding in an extra step that had to call an external service. Organizationally, the design team challenges were several: a fast development track had started before a dedicated design team had been assembled, so many technical decisions had been made without design input and several had to be changed later on. Sign off was needed from top leadership of 9 EU countries and 7 traslated sets of mocks and prototypes for testing. Input from leadership and multiple departments had to be incorporated after each meeting and changes had to be communicated out. We conducted two usability studies in 8 countries using local contractors. Because it affected more than 10 departments that had their own checkout flows, we also had to have coordination and educational meetings with all of the affected teams who would have to implement it. Our boilerplate wireframes had to be rock solid with no obscurity. In addition, we already knew what phase two would entail, and wanted to design the interface in a way that would transition to phase two well. Customer service and ordering teams also had to be heavily involved.

Because the speed of screen appearing was crucial, the prototypes had to simulate anticipated wait times from tests being done simultaneously by the third party company responsible for the fraud protection software. Additionally, detailed flows, wireframes and mocks had to be prepared for development teams, while overview docs and presentations had to be created for leadership.


To ensure the least amount of impact in phase one, we designed an interstitial screen that would appear only if a transaction met a threshold of fraud criteria, and only required one interaction to complete (which included entering a security code sent to their cell phone). While the banks controlled the content of that screen, we provided design guidance for phase two improvements. If a customer didn’t complete the challenge properly, we saved their order on hold, and emailed them about the payment issue. We designed for all of the payment failure scenarios, so the customer wouldn't completely lose the work they had put into their shopping, and allowed them to finish an order later from Your Orders.

Success measures

  1. Ensure that conversions are at a rate similar to without multifactor authentication.


  1. The design provided a no-stop purchase flow and a way to complete the order later if the code wasn’t entered properly. I left Amazon before the project was released so I don’t have data on the actual release statistics.


Bank Challenge

Failure/Your Orders

Email with Payment Failure