Strong Customer Authentication

The way your bank or payment services provider verifies your identity or validates a specific payment instruction is changing. These changes are designed to reduce the risk of a fraudster pretending to be you to steal your money.

Authentication is the process that your bank or payment services provider uses to establish that it is really you.

It aims to make sure that the person requesting access to your account, or trying to make a payment, is either you or someone to whom you have given consent. 

The new rules, introduced in 2019, are intended to further enhance the security of payments and limit fraud. They are known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

For online banking, the SCA changes were expected to be completed by 14 March 2020.

For online shopping, the e-commerce industry – including card issuers, payments firms and online retailers - will have until 14 September 2021 to implement SCA. 

We are working with firms to implement SCA in a way that protects consumers while minimising disruption. We also want to ensure that authentication methods are available for all groups of consumers.

Changes to your bank authentication process

Your bank or payment services provider should keep you up to date if it is planning any changes to the way you are authenticated.

The changes could affect how you access your account online or when making payments. 

Contact your bank if you are unsure or would like more information.

Online shopping

The way you authenticate yourself when shopping online - using a laptop, tablet or mobile phone - may also change from September 2019 onwards.

Your card issuer should keep you up to date about any planned changes to the process.

Contact your issuer if you would like more information.

Protect yourself from fraud

All customers should remain alert to the possibility of banking and online account scams.

See our steps for avoiding these types of scams.

Page updates

30/04/2020: Information changed Coronavirus update