New Bank Safety Measures Planned

New safety measures being introduced by UK banks in September

Under the new Strong Customer Authorisation (SCA) rules rollout, customers at the UK’s largest banks will soon have to undergo more stringent safety checks when making payments online.

The new rules around checking payments come into full force in September, with customers at banks such as NatWest, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and Santander all told to expect new measures that they will have to adhere to when using their debit or credit card to make online payments.

The changes have already been phased in partially by some banks, with Santander being one of those to introduce some of the measures early.

Strong Customer Authentication Explained

While the new SCA rules come into place in September 2021, the biggest impact will be seen in March 2022. From this date, any customers making an online payment of over £25 will need undergo some form of identification check, with a few exceptions.

Payments under £25 won’t be subject to the same scrutiny, unless multiple payments are made in a row that total more than £85.

There are some exceptions to these payment checks – any direct debits, recurring bills or other low risk payments – such as those made to a supermarket customers regularly visit, or utility payments – won’t need to be checked. However if a customer makes multiple chip and pin payments in a row totaling more than £130, or if they are setting up a new regular payment, they may be asked to verify their identity.

Security checks by banks will be carried out in a number of different ways. For online transactions, most banks will either send a message to the customer’s online banking app, or an SMS message to their phone to enter on the screen to confirm it is them.

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    Others may ask customers to log onto their online banking website in order to verify it is them making the purchase.

    If customers were given a card reader, they may be asked to use them more when making payments online.

    For those customers without a smartphone, banks may call them with an automated message on their landline with instructions on verifying their identity.

    Better Protection For Customers

    The move to bring in these new rules is designed to help prevent stolen bank cards or banking details from being used to make payments. Any payments that look unusual could be subject to banks’ verification methods.

    Banking fraud is a growing problem and there have been many more cases reported in the last 12 months than in previous years. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated with their techniques.

    It’s worth remembering that a bank will never ask their customers for their pin or bank account number over email or text message – if a customer receives a message they should report it. Customers receiving a phone call that they are suspicious of should always hang up and call the bank back on an official number.

    With the new verification checks being brought in, customers are being urged to check that their contact details are up to date with their bank, to prevent payments being blocked.