Barclays and Ingenico add authentication solutions as new requirements approach

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Both firms introduced tools for merchants that have Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in mind. For context, SCA will require payers to provide two forms of authentication to make an electronic payment, introducing new processes and pain points for merchants and their shoppers.



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  • Ingenico introduced a suite of tools meant to ensure merchants comply with SCA requirements when they come into effect in much of Europe at the end of the year.
  • Meanwhile, Barclaycard Payments announced a partnership with fraud prevention provider Kount to offer merchants AI-based tools that detect fraud in real time and consider SCA requirements.

Rolling out these SCA-focused solutions now should help merchants overcome a lack of preparation and the added friction the requirements create for customers.

SCA’s enforcement date was previously postponed to give merchants and payments firms more time to prepare — and incorporating these solutions now may help firms fine-tune their practices before the new deadline. SCA was set to go into effect in September 2019, but its enforcement was delayed to December 31, 2020 in most European countries in part because there were concerns about merchants’ preparedness and compliance.

If merchants weren’t ready for SCA, they may have created poor authentication experiences or possibly faced punishments for noncompliance. Now, some payment stakeholders are pushing to move the enforcement date back further because of the pandemic, but that may not come to pass outside of the UK, so firms may still be unprepared for SCA at the end of the year. But with solutions like Barclays’ and Ingenico’s available now, firms should have the time to fine-tune their practices to make sure they comply with SCA.

The solutions specifically target the friction SCA creates for customers, potentially helping merchants avoid losing sales because of new authentication steps. Because SCA requires two forms of authentication, it could increase cart abandonment since consumers will have to do more work to check out: A study from Stripe estimated that Europe’s online economy could lose €57 billion ($64.4 billion) in economic activity in SCA’s first 12 months of enforcement, though the study was published before the enforcement date was delayed to the end of 2020.

Barclays’ solution aims to prove that some transactions are “sufficiently genuine,” meaning the consumer wouldn’t need to provide two forms of authentication for these payments, while Ingenico’s offering works to identify potential exemptions, possibly alleviating losses when SCA is enforced.

Combating fraud via SCA and other methods is particularly important as the coronavirus pandemic causes e-commerce sales to surge, so solutions that ease authentication-related friction should appeal to merchants. E-commerce is taking off due to store closures and concerns about contracting the virus, but the increase in volume also means there’s greater potential for e-commerce fraud.

SCA and other initiatives that add new authentication steps may be able to curb this risk, so firms around the world, even those not directly impacted by SCA, may be interested in solutions that help them successfully increase authentication processes without alienating shoppers, helping solutions providers attract clients.

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