Any agricultural business in Ireland that sells products and services online needs to upgrade its payment system to be ready for a new regulation, called strong customer authentication (SCA) from July 1 2021.

The ultimate objective is to reduce fraud by adding an extra layer of security to online payments.

This will ensure that the payment is coming from the authorised cardholder and not a fraudster.

These new EU rules will protect online payments and will form part of EU regulation from 1 July 2021.

What is SCA?

SCA aims to add extra layers of security to electronic payments.

It requires banks to perform additional checks when consumers make payments, to confirm their identity.

To do this, banks may ask for a combination of two forms of identification, such as, password or PIN, mobile number or fingerprint.

It is already in place for non-business transactions and will now be enforced for all businesses across the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK.

I own a small agri business, what do I need to do?

The first thing you need to do is contact your business bank or the company that provides your online checkout service.

Ask them to ‘switch on’ the technology that can support this regulation, such as 3D Secure or EMV 3D Secure (especially useful for mobile phone payments).

The technology will scan payments as they come through to ensure they are not fraudulent.

It allows banks to verify the authenticity of the customer by asking them for more proof of their identity.

As an agri business, you can work with your bank or provider to identify certain types of payments which you feel do not need this extra SCA, such as some low-value payments (less than €30).

1 July is very close - do I have sufficient time?

Many businesses have already implemented this technology, with banks and payment companies busy testing the checkout experience before 1 July.

You should contact your provider as soon as possible to ensure there will be no disruption to your business and prevent any loss of sales.

If your online site is not set up for SCA, your bank may decline purchases over a certain amount at the checkout.

According to research carried out by Visa, 75% of larger Irish businesses have implemented these technologies already, but there are still many smaller Irish businesses not SCA ready. Therefore, do not delay and contact your bank today.

The benefits of SCA for agri businesses and customers include:

  • SCA allows consumers to shop online in a more secure way.
  • It adds an extra layer of security to the checkout process, making payments safer, as the customer has to provide two-factor authentication.
  • Agri businesses can be more confident that their online payment system is more secure by having this technology in place, with less chance of a fraud occurring.
  • Visa has stated (based on its own data) that if a business has EMV 3D Secure technology in place, online fraud can be reduced by as much as 50%.
  • A secure online system can add to an agri business’s profitability as there will be less chance of losses.
  • SCA is a secure, digital way to confirm that the authorised user is the person using the card online.
  • These new EU rules will ultimately protect all businesses and customers when making online payments.
  • As online shopping has seen huge increases, any technology which makes online payments more secure is very welcome.

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