Strong Customer Authentication

What is Strong Customer Authentication?

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) adds extra layers of security when you buy things online or make payments online. For example, if you buy something online, we may need you to log on to Mobile or Online Banking to authorise the transaction. We've made changes to the way we authenticate payments in Mobile and Online Banking and for some online card payments, so you can shop safer.

When a payment requires SCA we use two types of authentication out of three possible options, also known as two-factor authentication. These are:

  • something you know (e.g. Security Number)
  • something you have (e.g. card or phone)
  • something you are (e.g. fingerprint or face recognition).

What's changing?

UK banks need to make checks more often when you use your card online. This is because the rules for when SCA is needed has changed.

All companies that accept online card payments will be making changes to allow these checks, though not all companies will make these updates at the same time. This means that, if your card payment is declined, the retailer may not have made all the necessary changes, and so you may need to check if they offer an alternative payment method.

How we’ll ask you to make these checks

If your payment requires SCA, we may perform checks using information we have available, or, we may send a One Time Passcode (OTP).  If you are a personal banking customer we may ask you to verify your online card payment through our Mobile Banking app.

Please make sure that your mobile number is up to date and that you have your mobile phone to hand when making payments online.

Card not working or payment declined?

There may be other reasons why your card isn't working online. Please visit our card not working page for more information.

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