SCA and your customers

How do your customers feel about SCA, and do they even know it's happening?


While SCA will undoubtedly have an impact on your business, it will also be a noticeable change for end customers trying to make purchases online. How do they feel about it? Do they even care about added security? Do they know the changes are coming?

Consumer awareness of SCA

Banks have begun to communicate SCA to businesses (example 1, example 2), but have yet to really communicate the changes to the end consumer.

In the UK, less than 25% have a good knowledge of upcoming changes resulting from SCA.

Balancing security and convenience

Regardless of awareness, will end customers be willing to lose some of the convenience of online shopping to accommodate the more extensive security checks of SCA? After all, Amazon’s 1-click ordering system was the convenient process that all other checkouts are compared to.

In a study of 4,000 customers across the UK, France, Germany and Spain were asked about their attitudes to both security and convenience when shopping online.

The survey also asked them questions on feelings about certain specific elements of the new SCA requirements, and how increased security at checkout would influence their buying behaviour.

The results uncovered a slight preference for security over conversion, with 58% of shoppers prioritising security.

However, when asked how they would feel if faced with complex security procedures when shopping only, the majority (54%) said they would feel either suspicious or frustrated. Only 39% said they would feel safer.

customer attitudes to security 1

The survey also showed that attitudes to security and actual buying behaviour may be very different. 41% of those surveyed had previously abandoned an online purchase that was too complex, and nearly a quarter (24%) would go as far as to shop less with their favourite brand if the purchase involved added security measures.

This dissonance in attitudes suggests that what end customers think and how they act are different. They may react positively to the idea of added security, but their actual behaviour, when confronted with SCA, could be very different.

customer attitudes to security 2

Communicating SCA to your end customers

In the wake of 2018’s GDPR legislation, many end customers saw a barrage of emails from companies informing them of changes to privacy policies. The combined effect was poorly received by end customers and many of the emails were even illegal under GDPR.

The point here is that communicating any major changes to your end customers is fraught with its own set of problems. If you don’t communicate these changes, will they be confused when changes do take effect? If you do communicate SCA, will this create unnecessary concern? It’s also very difficult to communicate the exact nature of any changes when you’re still in the process of implementing new checkout flows and authorisation processes.

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