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What is strong customer authentication?

Strong customer authentication (SCA) is an extra security step designed to confirm your identify to prevent fraud and keep your money safe when shopping or banking online.

SCA means you’ll be asked to verify your identity when you do one of these things:

  • Buy something online
  • Log into online banking
  • Send a payment
  • Make several contactless transactions in a row

The next time you shop or bank online, you may need to verify your purchase or transaction using a one time passcode, your fingerprint or face recognition.

You might not be asked to verify your identity for all transactions, but it’s a good idea to keep your phone on you so you’re ready if necessary.

It’s a good idea to check that your contact details are correct and up to date to make sure you receive one time passcodes.  You can do this on the app or by contacting us.

Do these rules only apply to online purchases?

You’ll notice SCA more for online payments and online shopping, but it applies to card transactions in shops too. As Chip & Pin is a familiar way to proving your identity for most purchases you won’t have to do anything different.

If you use contactless, SCA might mean you have to enter your PIN a little more often. This rule doesn’t apply to transport, so if you use contactless for the bus or tube you shouldn’t be affected.

Why do I have to enter a one time passcode when I log into online banking but not the app?

When you log in to online banking, we’ll send you a one time passcode so that even if someone knows your username and password they can’t get in to your account.

On the app, face recognition or your fingerprint proves that you’re you, so we don’t need to ask for any additional security details when you log in. This speeds up logging in and managing your account, so we’d recommend getting the app if you haven’t used it yet.

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