Shoppers voice concerns over SCA requirements

UK retailers are not concerned about UK incoming Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements, despite nearly half of customers saying it could cause them to give up on transactions.

A survey by Upwave on behalf of commerce protection provider Signifyd, found that just 12 per cent of retail professionals consider the two-factor authentication required by the EEA’s SCA regulation to be their top post-pandemic concern.

The regulation is due to come into force across the UK and EEA in September.

In contrast, more than 46 per cent of consumers in a companion poll said that they were somewhat or very likely to give up on an order that involved the kind of two-factor authentication required by SCA, including SMS or biometric verification to initiate payments.

Ranking above SCA on UK retailers’ worry list were the lingering effects of COVID-19, the fallout from Brexit and the financial health of their businesses, according to the survey of 250 decision-makers at retail enterprises across the UK.

The survey of retail leaders also found that despite the pressures of the last year, the majority are optimistic— more than a quarter (26 per cent) said their sales would grow between 21 per cent and 30 per cent this year, while more than half said they expected sales to be up between 21 per cent and 40 per cent.

In addition, Signifyd’s survey found that UK merchants are ready to spend to fuel their digital transformation, with 40 per cent spending more on advertising technology as well as e-commerce platforms (33 per cent), payment platforms (33 per cent), customer support platforms (28 per cent), and order review and fraud protection platforms (25 per cent).

The shift to online during the pandemic is also set to stay, with 30 per cent of retailers expanding e-commerce this year, 66 per cent expanding click-and-collect in some form, 22 per cent boosting fraud protection and 18 per cent using more video calls with customers.

The companion poll of consumers showed that retailers are closely tracking customer demand, with nearly 83 per cent of consumers intending to shop differently in the post-COVID world.

Around 48 per cent will continue to use click-and-collect more often and 56 per cent expect to keep doing more of their shopping online, the survey found.

Commenting on the findings, Signifyd managing director Ed Whitehead said: “Given the unprecedented flurry of challenges that brands and retailers have faced in the last year-plus, it’s likely that SCA and all it involves has appeared more theoretical and less urgent than the disruptions merchants were facing in real-time.”

He added: “But SCA enforcement is imminent and merchants selling online are going to want to be ready to maintain a seamless checkout experience. This is a completely manageable challenge, but it requires action.”

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