Two hundred days on from the mandatory introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), new research by Barclaycard Payments, which processes £1 in every £3 spent on credit and debit cards in the UK, purports to have uncovered the impact of the regulation on UK businesses.
SCA requires shoppers to provide two-factor authentication to complete online purchases, and was introduced to help fight the £238.6m of online fraud committed in the UK each year.
Barclaycard's data shows that compliant businesses are benefitting from these tighter controls, with 73% reporting that online payment fraud levels have declined since the regulation was introduced on March 14th. Among those experiencing a decline in fraudulent activity, the average reduction is around -25%. As a result, almost two thirds (63%) with an ecommerce channel believe SCA has had a positive impact on their business.
Yet, despite the financial benefits of introducing two-factor authentication, the study also found that almost three in 10 (28%) businesses are still not fully compliant with the regulation. Proprietary Barclaycard transaction data shows this comes at a high cost, with over £2.07m in sales being declined every day because payments are being routed through non-secure channels and, as a result, failing mandatory security checks.
Of those yet to fully implement two factor authentication, insufficient time and funds to implement the controls were cited as the biggest barriers to compliance. However, Barclaycard found that most businesses are planning to conform to the new rules within the next seven months, on average.
Barclaycard says the majority of shoppers see the additional security checks as a positive development, with four in five (80%) happy to go through a more time-consuming checkout process if it helps protect their personal and financial details. As a result, the number of shoppers that drop out at the PoS after putting items in their online basket – known as basket abandonment – has decreased from 32.4% to 28.9% since SCA was introduced.
Many companies have invested in technology to prepare for, and in response to, SCA – 40% report introducing new systems within the past two years to make the checkout process simpler. Of merchants recording lower rates of basket abandonment since the rules were introduced in March, a fifth (19%) had communicated information about SCA to customers beforehand – suggesting shoppers who know what to expect during the checkout process are less likely to drop out.
There is plenty of support for business owners looking to streamline their checkout experience, with half (53%) recognising that payments partners play a key role in helping their company adapt to new controls and regulations.
Kirsty Morris, MD of specialist sales at Barclaycard Payments, says: “It’s reassuring to see how impactful the introduction of SCA has been in combatting the levels of online fraud in the UK.
“While most business have adapted well to the new levels of security, it does remain concerning that so many are still yet to become fully compliant. Our data shows that businesses risk losing millions in revenue by not upgrading their systems, so it’s important they look to make the shopping experience as safe and smooth as possible for their customers."