Two women shopping online

Shopping online becomes even safer from today: The big change to how we pay that all Brits need to know about

  • Shoppers now required to verify themselves with two-factor authentication when buying online
  • New safeguards will help combat the £376m of online fraud committed in the UK each year, marking the biggest change to payments since Chip & Pin
  • New data reveals 56 per cent of UK consumers have already used Strong Customer Authentication verification when shopping online
  • Barclaycard Payments issues guidance to help Brits understand the Strong Customer Authentication regulation, to speed up safe shopping

From today (Monday 14 March), every online purchase over £25 made in the UK may be subject to new security checks to help prevent cyber fraud, in the biggest change to consumer payments since Chip & Pin was rolled out 16 years ago.

The new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulation is designed to reduce the £376m of online fraud committed in the UK each year*, as new data from Barclaycard Payments**, which processes £1 in every £3 spent on credit and debit cards in the UK, shows that although 56 per cent of consumers have already used the new authentication methods, it’s important for all shoppers to be familiar with how online payments are changing.

The majority (52 per cent) of consumers agree that it makes shopping online safer and 45 per cent find it reassuring, while 28 per cent highlighted how the additional checks elevated their perception of the business they were buying from.

While the extra protection may add a few seconds to a transaction, by knowing what to expect and being prepared, cardholders can save time and continue to shop with ease.

Based on its research findings, Barclaycard Payments is issuing new guidance to help build understanding of the new ways to complete payments online and why they’re important.

What shoppers need to know about the new rules

During the checkout process online or via a retailer’s app, shoppers will be asked to provide one additional layer of identification, which for ease, can come in three forms.

1.     The ability to confirm a transaction within a banking app, such as the Barclays Mobile banking app: This is the quickest and easiest way to authenticate a purchase. Shoppers simply open their mobile banking app, and verify themselves using their password/passcode, facial recognition or thumb print. The transaction should also be listed in the notifications section of the app. Once verification has taken place, shoppers are automatically diverted back to the retailer’s site.

Additionally, Barclays and Barclaycard customers can leverage the Mobile banking app, and its PINsentry feature. To use this, shoppers need to open their mobile app, and select “Mobile PINsentry”. From here, they should follow the instructions on the retailer’s website and will be required to input a “response” code. Mobile PINsentry will then display a second code, which needs to be entered into the “challenge code” section of the website***. 

2.    A one-time passcode issued via text message to the cardholder’s mobile device: If a cardholder selects to verify themselves via SMS, they will receive a code to enter at the checkout on the retailer’s website. Cardholders should also ensure that their bank has their correct mobile number.

3.    A response code generated from a bank-issued card reader: When this option is chosen, shoppers need to insert their payment card into their bank-issued physical card reader and follow the instructions provided on the website. This will involve entering a “response” code. The card reader will then display a second code, which needs to be entered into the “challenge code” section of the website.

As cardholders are required to identify themselves at the point of checkout, it is important to ensure the extra details they enter into a website or app are correct, this will help to avoid transactions being declined. However, if cardholders experience a declined transaction, they should try again. Declined transactions may also occur if the retailer they are buying from is not yet compliant with the new regulation. It is recommended that a cardholder contacts the business directly if they experience difficulties during the checkout process.

As transactions under £25 will not be subject to the additional checks, some shoppers will notice little difference. To enhance the experience of their customers, many retailers are also investing in enhanced fraud checking solutions to remove additional friction from the checkout. These technologies, such as those offered by Barclaycard to its ecommerce customers, remove the need for SCA checks while keeping cardholders’ data safe. As a result, shoppers may not be asked to provide two factor authentication all of the time, but should be prepared for the times when it is applied to their purchase.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Today we see the biggest change to consumer payments since Chip & PIN was rolled out more than 16 years ago. The Strong Customer Authentication regulation is an important step in combatting cyber fraud, and online shopping will be all the safer for it.

“However, for the new rules to be fully effective, it’s important shoppers understand what they will be asked to do at the checkout, and why. That’s why we’re doubling down on our efforts to ensure our customers know what the new regulation means, and the methods they can use to identify themselves when buying online.

“Shoppers should be prepared for some purchases to take a little longer than usual to go through, but the extra seconds at the checkout are a small price to pay for the added security that the new rules will provide.”

Customers who require assistance in paying as a result of the new SCA checks should check what options are available to them on their bank or card issuer’s website.

More information about SCA is available here:

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Notes to editors

For more information, please contact the MHP Barclaycard Payments team on   

*Barclaycard Payments commissioned Opinium Research to survey 2,000 UK adults and 400 decision makers at merchants who sell online. The nationally-representative research was conducted between 23 February and 28 February 2022.

**UK Finance Data, 2020.

***Barclays PINsentry is a platform that provides an added layer of protection for Barclays banking customers. It generates unique eight-digit authentication codes for each online purchase. PINsentry is available as either a physical card reader or as part of the Barclays banking app. The Barclays and Barclaycard app is available on iOS and Android.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit. In the UK we process nearly £1 in every £3 spent using credit and debit cards, and in 2021 we processed over £270bn in transactions globally. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.