Early transaction data from Barclaycard following the introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules finds that merchants have not seen an increase in abandoned transactions or declined payments, contrary to popular expectations.
E-commerce businesses have been warning for months that more than a quarter of payments would fail under the new regime - which demands a two-step verification process for all online purchases over EUR30.
However, transactions deemed low risk by the merchant's acquirer using transaction risk analysis data qualify for an exemption - a factor which has been seized on by Barclaycard with the introduction last weekend of a new dynamic fraud prevention system, Barclaycard Transact.
Analysis from Barclaycard of transaction data from 14 and 15 September, the first two days following the EU deadline, shows that the SCA rollout has had no initial impact on sales.
Paul Adams, director of acquiring at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, says: “Our data offers encouraging news for merchants, whose transaction volumes have been, so far, unaffected by the go-live of SCA.
“Barclaycard’s unique position as issuer and an acquirer means that we understand the concerns that both merchants and consumers have about SCA, and the balance the regulation necessitates between customer experience and security.
“We have designed Transact to help our customers get the most out of the incoming regulation, by enabling them to provide a smooth payment experience for their shoppers, while at the same time reducing risk and managing fraud.”
National regulators have been given additional leeway by the European Banking Authority to extend the September deadline for the introduction of the new rules in order to give firms more time to prepare.
UK Finance, acting on behalf of the Bank of England, has already drawn up an alternative timetable for the transition, recommending a minimum 18-month delay to the introduction of SCA rules in the UK, with a further one-year extension for the hospitality and travel sector.
Other European member states are also looking to revise their own compliance deadlines, but in the absence of a harmonised pan-European timetable, country-specific exceptions have the potential to cause quite a lot of confusion. For merchants operating in more than one country, things get complicated, because they could be subject to multiple overlapping deadlines.
To minimise any complexity, Barclaycard is strongly recommending that merchants should immediately begin to work with their payment acquirer to prepare for compliance.