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Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) Update (13-Sept-2019)

You may have heard about Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), a new requirement under European payment law that, in part, aims to make online and mobile payments more secure. It does so by asking customers to provide additional information to complete their transactions.

While SCA will come into effect on 14 September 2019, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently announced it will take a phased approach to enforce SCA obligations over an 18-month period.

Despite this delay, the FCA expects some banks, retailers and payment providers to start rolling out the new measures from 14 September 2019. Given this, we anticipate some ongoing ambiguity and minor disruptions for sites and businesses that have online payment processing facilities in place, as SCA is gradually introduced through to March 2021. That means your customers may soon begin to see SCA applied to certain online and mobile transactions but not others.

Payment providers like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and WorldPay (to name a few) have indicated they will be ready to support SCA from 14 September 2019, however, some will only apply the additional treatment in certain circumstances, such as where it is required to complete a transaction or where it increases the security of a transaction.