EU Trade Group Wants Update On SCA Status

The ePayments industry wants an update on Strong Customer Authentication

Vendorcom wants answers.

The London-based trade group for Europe’s ePayments community is waiting for the European Banking Authority, the European Union (EU) banking regulator, to provide the 27-nation bloc with an update on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

Introduced two years ago, SCA is designed to ensure electronic payments are authenticated in multiple ways to boost security and curb fraud. Credit cards typically contain a chip or require a PIN. But this has not been true for online transactions.

Last fall, the European Banking Authority moved its original September 2019 deadline for merchants to implement SCA until the end of this year. 

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority, an independent financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, has moved its SCA compliance date to September of next year, in part, due to the mayhem caused by COVID-19. 

“The lack of clarity is creating turmoil in the pan-European merchant payments sector and in particular eCommerce,” Vendorcom Chairman Paul Rodgers told The FinTech Times. “I’m now calling on the European Commission to intervene — as I think that only the commission can now take charge and bring resolution to the impasse that the EBA is precipitating.”

The implementation delay gives regulators an opportunity to get it right, Rodgers said. The time should be used to end the Short Messaging Service (SMS) that allows shoppers to pay by sending a text message because it is not secure, he added. Other, better security solutions should be considered collaboratively. In addition, he said, barriers should be removed from eCommerce and more must be done to prevent fraud.

“There are plenty of solutions providers out there that can make those available and merchants should be applying those to actually cover the gap that not doing SCA will create in our fraud prevention toolkit,” Rodgers told the online news outlet. The reality says we need to delay this, but we can’t just simply say ‘right, let’s delay, and almost do nothing until 14 September next year. It’s time for the regulators to wake up and stop skirting around the issue.”

PYMNTS recently reported the pandemic has thrown daily operations for merchants in the EU and the U.K. into flux as regulators try to deal with the unprecedented increase in online transactions.

“The [financial] industry has acted quickly to support both consumers and retailers as much as possible through the COVID-19 crisis,” UK Finance told PYMNTS. “This includes ensuring that any large-scale changes such as SCA do not impact retailers’ day-to-day business, allowing them to focus on what they need to at this difficult time.”

UK Finance is a trade association for the U.K. banking and financial services sector.


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