Strong Customer Authentication

From 14 September 2019, the way in which your bank or payment services provider verifies your identity or validates a specific payment instruction will change. These European Union (EU) rule changes are designed to reduce the risk of a fraudster pretending to be you to steal your money.

This process to establish that it is really you is called 'authentication'. The aim is to make sure your bank or payment services provider knows that the person requesting access to your account or trying to make a payment is either you or someone to whom you have given your consent.

The new rules, called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), are intended to enhance the security of payments and limit fraud.

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

For online banking, the changes will be phased in from 14 September 2019 and completed by 14 March 2020.

For online shopping, we have agreed a plan with the e-commerce industry of card issuers, payments firms and online retailers that gives them 18 months up to March 2021 to implement SCA. This reflects the position agreed with the European Banking Authority and other EU regulators that, given the complexity of SCA requirements, the lack of industry preparedness, and the potential of significant disruption for consumers, industry needed more time.

At the end of the 18-month period, we expect all firms to have made the necessary changes and testing to apply SCA. Consumers may notice changes to the way they authenticate their identity when shopping online during this time.

How do I know which authentication process my provider will take?

Your provider should be communicating with you if it is planning any changes to the way you are authenticated when accessing your account online or making payments. Contact your bank if you are unsure.

Brexit and SCA

The implementation of Strong Customer Authentication is European-wide. The current plans to leave the EU will not affect this process.

What online shopping is affected?

The way you authenticate yourself when shopping online using a laptop, tablet or mobile phone may change from September 2019 onwards. Your card issuer should be communicating with you with the detail of any planned changes. Do contact your issuer if you would like more detail.

Protecting myself 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.