Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) testing by Microsoft shows that customers are abandoning their purchases at high rates when challenged at the checkout.
Slated to come into force at the end of the year, the SCA rule demands a two-step verification process for all European online purchases over EUR30, meaning customers will need two of the following: something they know (like a password), are (fingerprint/face ID), or have (phone).
Microsoft has been testing SCA for nearly a year, sending a small, random percentage of customer initiated transactions for authentication over EMV 3D-Secure.
In a LinkedIn post on the results, Dean Jordaan, director, e-commerce and payments, Microsoft, has offered up some observations that cast doubt on the readiness of the industry and consumers to enter the SCA era.
Jordaan notes that challenge success rates are "low to very low", meaning that merchants lose out on sales and customers miss out on their purchases.
When challenged customers abandon the checkout at high rates. "This suggests customers are confused, don't like the authentication method, and/or encounter poor implementations of SCA," says Jordaan.
And even if a challenge is successful, it takes a long time, especially for an app.
Despite industry calls to reassess in light of the Covid-19 crisis, the EC recently confirmed that it will not follow the UK's lead and extend the SCA deadline from 31 December this year.
The refusal to delay, adding complexity at the checkout, could cost merchants up to EUR90 billion in lost sales for 2021 alone, claims payments consultancy CMSPI.