UK Merchants on Board with SCA

UK Merchants on Board with SCA

December 9, 2021

It appears U.K. businesses are finally ready for the implementation of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

A new report from a U.K.-based payments trade association found that many businesses have been working on implementing technologies that will enhance their ability to authenticate online users, including EMV 3DS, face and finger biometrics, behavioral biometrics, mobile banking apps and digital wallets.

SCA compliance is required as part of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) to prevent “remote purchase card fraud,” a problem The Payments Association says has grown 170 percent in the U.K. since 2011. Originally, U.K. regulators had planned to enforce SCA rules throughout the European Economic Area (which the UK remains a part of post-Brexit) in 2019, but the merchant community expressed confusion over the underlying standards. Along with the onset of Covid-19, the deadline was pushed back to January 2022.

“Although challenges remain, especially amongst SMEs, the data we have gathered is extremely encouraging,” says Tony Craddock, director general at The Payments Association. “We have seen that the financial services and FinTech sectors have prepared well, used the additional time wisely and are ready for the upcoming deadline. The early signs are that SCA is having a positive impact on European card fraud levels, and we look forward to seeing similar declines in the U.K. We do though have to remain vigilant as criminals have a habit of seeking out new ways and places to attack. Financial Crime prevention is an ongoing fight.”

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