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Battling online bank fraud

Bank fraud and scams cost UK customers £1.2 billion in 2018 alone, and businesses faced even higher losses. The good news – better online security is on the way.

‘Strong customer authentication’ (SCA) is a new way for banks and payment service providers to verify customer identity and validate payment instructions. SCA stems from the EU’s Payment Services Directive, and should go ahead regardless of Brexit. The complete suite of changes should soon be in place: by 14 March 2020 for online banking services, and by March 2021 for online shopping. In many cases, SCA will entail customers using a smartphone, although there are workrounds suggested for those without a smartphone or reliable signal. Customers will have to provide two different types of information, out of three different categories: knowledge – something only the user knows, like a PIN or password: possession – something only the user possesses, like a card checked by a card reader: and inherence – something unique to the user, like voice or fingerprint.

Card issuers, payments firms and online retailers are preparing for the change. You may find they contact you with details of their plans.

Not everything is equal – true. But maybe being equal is simply not good enough?

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