UK regulator agrees 18-month plan for implementation of Strong Customer Authentication

Maria Nikolova

The plan gives the payments and e-commerce industry additional time to implement Strong Customer Authentication.

London

In line with earlier reports, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announces today it has agreed a plan that gives the payments and e-commerce industry extra time to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

From September 14, 2019, new European Union (EU) rules will start to apply that impact the way in which banks or payment services providers verify their customers identity and validate specific payment instructions. The new rules, called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), aim to enhance the security of payments and limit fraud during this authentication process.

The FCA has today agreed an 18-month plan to implement SCA with the e-commerce industry of card issuers, payments firm and online retailers. The plan reflects the recent opinion of the European Banking Authority (EBA) which stated that more time was needed to implement SCA given the complexity of the requirements, a lack of preparedness and the potential for a significant impact on consumers.

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director for Supervision – Retail and Authorisations, said:

‘The FCA has been working with the industry to put in place stronger means of ensuring that anyone seeking to make payments is not a fraudster. While these measures will reduce fraud, we want to make sure that they won’t cause material disruption to consumers themselves; so we have agreed a phased plan for their timely introduction’.

Importantly, the FCA said it will not take enforcement action against firms if they do not meet the relevant requirements for SCA from September 14, 2019 in areas covered by the agreed plan, where there is evidence that they have taken the necessary steps to comply with the plan. At the end of the 18-month period, the FCA expects all firms to have made the necessary changes and undertaken the required testing to apply SCA.

The FCA will also continue to monitor the extent to which banks and payment service providers are meeting its expectation that they consider the impact of SCA on different groups of consumers, and provide alternative means of authentication where needed.

Let’s recall that the revised Payment Services Directive was published in November 2015, entered into force on January 13, 2016 and applies since January 13, 2018. The Directive brings fundamental changes to the payments market in the EU, in particular by requiring SCA to be applied by payment services providers (PSPs) when carrying out remote electronic transactions.

SCA is defined in the Directive as an “authentication based on the use of two or more elements categorised as knowledge (something only the user knows), possession (something only the user possesses) and inherence (something the user is) that are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and is designed in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of the authentication data.” The Directive also stipulates that SCA is to be applied to all electronic payments, unless one of the exemptions applies.

Read this next

Digital Assets

CrossTower acquires BEQUANT to help crypto industry reset and consolidate

“We are stabilizing an industry with incredible promise; regaining trust; and rebuilding the future of finance.”

Retail FX

Plum launches crypto offering for EU residents

Plum has added crypto investing to its range of investment options in France, Belgium, Spain, and Ireland. Residents there will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in their app with just a few taps, via services provided by Bitpanda.

Retail FX

FX/CFD and Crypto broker Quantfury launches fractional trading of stocks, ETFs, commodities

“Quantfury is advancing its unmatched trading and investing conditions further by making it even more affordable to Quantfurians out there. Fractional trading mode opens up more trading opportunities to the Quantfury global audience of more than 400,000 Quantfurians.”

Industry News

SEC awards $20 million to whistleblower despite degree of culpability and reporting delay

The Securities and Exchange Commission has awarded a whistleblower with $20 million for providing new and critical information that led to the success of an enforcement action.

Institutional FX

Tradesmarter’s white label WOW TRADER integrates with TradingView

Tradesmarter’s white label trading platform solution WOW TRADER has integrated with TradingView, the high performance and mobile friendly charting tool.

Industry News

ASIC loses fee overcharging case against Commonwealth Bank of Australia

“ASIC pursued this case because we believed CBA did not have robust compliance systems to ensure customers were being correctly charged. ASIC will carefully consider the judgment and continue to work to ensure large financial institutions charge fees correctly and put their customers first.”

Digital Assets

Kraken pays $362K fine for onboarding Iranian users

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken will pay $362,158 to settle its civil liability for apparent violations of US sanctions on countries like Iran, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said.

Digital Assets

Bankrupt lender BlockFi owes $275 million to FTX.US

Distressed crypto lender BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, nearly two weeks after halting withdrawals of customer deposits due to significant exposure to bankrupt exchange FTX.

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Astar Network powers WASM smart contract devs with Swanky toolkit

Blockchain innovation hub Astar Network is launching Swanky, an all-in-one tool for smart contract developers that bridges the elements of WebAssembly (WASM) ecosystem into a single interface.

<