Most UK retailers say strong customer authentication is not a key concern for post-pandemic recovery

strong customer authentication survey graph UK
WORRY LIST: UK merchants rank Covid-19, Brexit and their financial health above SCA concerns

Only one in six (12.8%) UK merchants rates the introduction of strong customer authentication (SCA) for online payments as a big business concern as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey published by Signifyd.

The company’s State of UK Commerce Report 2021 also shows that while 28% of respondents said they “anticipated a decline in conversion rates because of SCA”, more than 37% thought there would be “no change”, nearly 31% “expect to see greater conversation rates” and almost 4% “expect to see significantly higher conversion rates”.

“That’s a marked contrast to consumers’ take on the regulation, which will be enforced in the UK starting in September,” Signifyd says.

“More than 46% of consumers said in a companion poll [published in December 2020] that they were somewhat or very likely to give up on an order that involved the kind of two-factor authentication required by SCA.

“Ranking above SCA on UK retailers’ worry list were the lingering effects of Covid-19, the fallout from Brexit and the financial health of their businesses, according to the survey of 250 decision-makers at retail enterprises across the region.”

“Surprisingly, UK merchants seem almost sanguine about the impending enforcement of PSD2’s strong customer authentication requirement — despite the widespread discussion of it being a conversion killer,” the report adds.

“Although CMSPI determined that SCA would lead to a 25% reduction in conversions in most European countries subject to the requirement, UK brands and retailers don’t appear to be buying it.”

The requirement to implement SCA is due to come into force in the UK in September, after the original March 2021 start date was pushed back during the pandemic.

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