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Digital platforms given extra 6 months to implement SCA

Retailers and e-tailers are being granted an additional six months to put in place legally required improvements to payment security as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the deadline for implementing Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

The authority said the extended deadline of 14 March 2022 would ensure “minimal disruption” to both merchants and consumers and “recognises ongoing challenges facing the industry to be ready by the previous 14 September 2021 deadline.”

The new rules are intended to enhance the security of payments and limit fraud during the customer authentication process. They apply when a payer initiates an electronic payment transaction, accesses their payment account online, or carries out any action remotely that may imply a risk of payment fraud, unless an exemption applies.

The updated deadline is the latest by which the watchdog expects full SCA compliance for e-commerce transactions. Following the March date, any financial services institution that fails to comply with the rules will be subject to supervisory and enforcement action from the authority.

The FCA said that it had previously agreed to give firms extra time to implement the new customer authentication rules for card-based e-commerce transactions in response to concerns about industry readiness.

The organisation already provided an additional six-month extension last year in response to the coronavirus crisis.

“We still expect firms to continue to take robust action to reduce the risk of fraud,” the FCA said in a statement.

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