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Published
Mar 14, 2022
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New online fraud rules could throw e-shopping into chaos - report

Published
Mar 14, 2022

UK online retailers beware. Compulsory SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) kicks in from today (14 March) and if websites aren’t compliant, many transactions will be declined with the risk of lost sales and reduced customer loyalty.


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That’s the warning from Barclaycard as the biggest change to payments begins since Chip & Pin rolled out 16 years ago.

Customers will now have to verify their identity when buying anything online that costs more than £25, under the new regulations aimed at combating online fraud, which costs consumers almost £400 million a year.

SCA regulation now requires shoppers to verify themselves every time they pay as the two-factor authentication becomes mandatory at the checkout. Shoppers will receive codes via texts or prompts in their mobile banking app which they will have to type in or click on before they can checkout. 

This applies to each of the millions of online and app-based transactions made every day.

The Financial Conduct Authority has told retailers they must have the correct cyber security software, ‘3DSecure’, in place by today to allow banks and card companies to carry out the checks. If retailers have not implemented the systems in time, card payments will automatically decline and businesses will be subject to “enforcement action”. 

The warnings comes as new data, released from Barclaycard Payments, shows that in February as SCA began rolling out, over 1.2m online transactions worth over £100 million were declined, as online businesses were unable to route transactions through an SCA compliant channel.

Its data also showed 14% of shoppers noticed an increase in their online payments being declined; 37% headed to another retailer to complete their purchase; 37% said they’re unlikely to shop with a merchant in future if their payment gets rejected without explanation. Meanwhile, 28% of those are abandoning baskets due to friction at the checkout, stating the payment took too long to complete.

As the number of transactions subject to SCA checks has been gradually ramping up, this led to Barclaycard Payments seeing 43,000 transactions a day, worth £3.64 million, declined at the point of sale in February.

However, its data also shows that 93% of transactions which were processed through the Barclaycard Transact platform were approved on the first attempt in February, compared to 69% of transactions going through less secure channels. 

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “While the new regulation is a positive step to keep customers’ data safe online, our research shows that shoppers are inclined to abandon transactions if it takes too long to check-out, demonstrating how important it is for businesses to have sophisticated fraud checks in place.

“Merchants who aren’t yet ready should start to prioritise becoming compliant to avoid losing out on sales. Our data has already shown the impact of not being prepared, and this will only get worse if steps are not taken now. The message to retailers is clear; if you don’t make buying online quick and easy for your customers they will simply go elsewhere.”

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