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Strong Customer Authentication comes into force across UK retail

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Pexels

New customer identification steps are being introduced in the UK on Monday in a bid to combat online fraud.

New Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements mean shoppers face more identity verification checks when making online purchases using their debit or credit cards.

To comply, consumers will have to confirm two of three “factors”: They can input biometrics such as a fingerprint or facial ID; type in a passcode or password; or use two-step identification with a mobile phone.

SCA rules have applied to an increasing proportion of online transactions since the start of the year as merchants and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) prepared themselves to meet the enforcement date of Monday, when all transactions must be SCA-compliant.

Some transactions will not face the SCA requirements. These could be transactions deemed as “low risk”, or repeat purchases such as subscriptions, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

‘Online has never been safer’

Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the BRC, said in a statement: “Retailers have been working hard to prepare for the Strong Customer Authentication requirements, ensuring online purchases are both as safe and easy as possible.

“The BRC and our members have worked with suppliers to ensure multiple fraud checks are performed behind the scenes and any additional friction is kept to a minimum. Customers should be reassured that buying online has never been safer.”

But the move is also expected to increase the number of declined transactions as online retailers implement the new SCA requirements.

Barclaycard Payments has warned that websites that aren’t SCA compliant risk losing sales and damaging customer loyalty, The Industry.Fashion reports.

Data from Barclaycard Payments reportedly revealed that 43,000 transactions a day - worth 3.64 million pounds - were declined at the point of sale in February as online businesses were not able to route transactions through an SCA compliant channel.

Strong Customer Authentication