Online retailers ‘risk declined purchases’ if they miss SCA deadline

UK Finance has warned that retailers with an online presence will risk customer purchases being declined if they do not meet the 14 March deadline to support Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

SCA is a set of new rules by the Financial Conduct Authority, designed to protect customers from fraud when shopping on e-commerce sites.

The rules mean that consumers will need to verify their identity i.e. via their banking app or a one-time passcode via text or phone call, when making purchases online.

The trade union for the financial services industry, which represents nearly 300 firms, said that from 18 January card issuers will start declining some non-compliant transactions, with all non-compliant transactions being declined after the 14 March deadline.

The organisation strongly urged retailers to ensure readiness by 18 January 2022 as SCA requests will be stepped up from this date to avoid a cliff edge implementation.

“Fraud is a growing problem, with criminals stealing more than £750 million in the first half of 2021 alone,” said Jana Mackintosh, managing director of payments and innovation, UK Finance. “That is why it is more important than ever that additional protections like Strong Customer Authentication are put in place.

“For retailers, implementing SCA will provide customers peace of mind that payment processes are more secure.

“The industry and stakeholders have worked tirelessly to get ready for this change and we encourage any retailers who have not yet implemented SCA to act as soon as possible to ensure the new protections are available to all.”

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