What is SCA (Secure Customer Authentication)?

21 Feb 2022 By PAYCEC

The EU Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) requires payment service providers in the European Economic Area to use strong customer authentication (SCA). To strengthen the security of electronic payments, the requirement requires that they be made with multi-factor authentication.

The European Banking Authority issued a statement on what approaches might be considered "components" of SCA. Secure in three dimensions SCA standards can (but are not usually) be met by 2.0. Mastercard (Mastercard Identity Check) and Visa have implemented 3-D Secure, which are marketed as facilitating SCA compliance.

To support authentication, e-commerce firms must alter their payment procedures on their websites and apps. Many payments will be refused once SCA is fully implemented if authentication is not supported.

Physical card transactions in the EU currently have what is known as "strong customer authentication" (Chip and PIN), but this was not the case for Internet transactions in the EU previous to the requirement's adoption, and many contactless card purchases do not employ a second authentication element.

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