How online checkouts might feel a little different from now on

consumer online shopping

As the way we shop evolves, so do the safeguards in place to protect you. That’s why a new industry regulation known as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) has been introduced, to allow your bank to make extra checks that it’s you making a payment. 

SCA aims to make shopping online more secure – but it could also mean that you need to take additional steps when you reach the checkout, or when you’re clicking to pay. If your bank can’t be sure that the payment being made is being done by you, it could be declined.

As part of efforts to reduce fraud, new technology has been introduced that makes it easier for businesses to comply with the new SCA regulations. Retailers need to upgrade their systems to the latest technology by October 15th, after which the previous systems will not be available. 

If retailers have not updated by this date, you may notice some difficulties paying online. We would recommend reaching out to your bank if you’re having trouble. 

Only a small proportion of online commerce transactions are fraudalent but the number is on the rise1. Understanding how SCA works will allow you to keep yourself protected but also help ensure that any legitimate purchases you are trying to make are not disrupted. SCA is all about providing you with even more protection when paying with your Visa card, so that you pay with confidence knowing that you won’t be left out of pocket if things do go wrong.

What's changed?

When paying for your shopping online, you may have noticed that you are being required by your bank to verify your identity more often than previously. This is because banks are being required to perform additional checks to ensure that payments are being made by the correct cardholder (and not a fraudster).

At Visa, we have been working with banks and companies across the finance industry to help ensure the checkout experience is as smooth as possible. 

Whilst we continue to work with our clients and partners to upgrade to the latest technology, there are steps you must take to ensure you can still buy from retailers with ease.

Keeping your money safe in-store and online

When making a payment for goods or services from your desktop, mobile or other digital device, SCA will require your bank to make sure you are who you say you are. To do this, banks may ask for a combination of two forms of identification at checkout, such as:

  • Your password
  • Your PIN code, or;
  • A one-time passcode sent via SMS or email
  • Biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition

Your bank will decide which combination they ask for, but our recommendation – if you can – is to download your banking app and enable biometrics (such as fingerprints and facial recognition). Biometrics like fingerprints are very easy to use and very difficult to copy – which makes them a simple and quick way to help securely prove your identity. And once you have set up your biometric on a registered mobile phone, you will be able to provide both forms of identification required for SCA in one. Finally, you can’t lose or forget your fingerprint.

If you cannot be identified using two of these factors, your payment may be declined. What’s more, SCA will help to ensure that your bank has the right contact details for you, so that if you want to be able to purchase holidays, clothes, films – and anything in between – with your card online, you can be easily identified.

Meanwhile, when it comes to paying for goods and services in-store, SCA means that you may be asked to enter your PIN more often to ensure you have protection when making a payment. If there are any problems with your payment after providing this additional verification, it’s important that you speak to your bank which will be able to provide more information.

With the introduction of SCA, we want to help you shop securely, easily, and quickly online. To do so, update your contact details with your bank, and get ready to provide more identification when prompted.

For more information about SCA and how this will affect the way you pay for goods and services online, visit


Disclaimer: Case studies, comparisons, statistics, research and recommendations are provided “AS IS” and intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for operational, marketing, legal, technical, tax, financial or other advice. Visa Inc. neither makes any warranty or representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the information within this document, nor assumes any liability or responsibility that may result from reliance on such information. The Information contained herein is not intended as investment or legal advice, and readers are encouraged to seek the advice of a competent professional where such advice is required.

Tag: Digital commerce