Online shopping

Online shopping chaos fears new anti-fraud measures

Consumers may have already been promoted in this way, as some companies have prepared in advance. But from Monday this week, security measures become mandatory, despite concerns many businesses are not ready.

The city’s watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has told retailers they must have the appropriate cybersecurity software, called “3DSecure”, in place by March 14 to allow banks and card companies to carry out the checks.

If retailers have not implemented the systems in time, card payments will automatically be declined and businesses will be subject to “enforcement action”.

This means buyers may not be able to make purchases, even if they have enough money in their bank accounts.

Shoppers have been told to expect upset when paying online, while experts have warned older people who don’t have a mobile phone, as well as those in areas with weak mobile signal, will have a hard time. trouble shopping.

Barclays has issued disruption warning letters. He told customers, “Some retailers haven’t updated their payment systems yet. This means that online card payments can be declined, even if there is no problem with your card or your account.

He also warned of longer waiting times at online checkouts.

According to data from Barclaycard, one in three online shoppers in stores that have already implemented the new verifications have abandoned a transaction due to the extra time required by the verification process.

The bank’s Rob Cameron said “buyers should be prepared for some purchases to take a little longer than usual.”

Tom Gaffney of cybersecurity firm F-Secure said online shoppers who didn’t have a cellphone, or those in areas with poor cellphone signal, would also struggle to make purchases. payments if they could not complete the checks.

About one in five adults do not have a smartphone, according to telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Banks, including Santander, have been criticized for telling customers they need a mobile phone to verify their identity to make purchases online, without offering an alternative. In response, the bank began allowing customers to confirm their identity via access codes sent by email in September.

Most banks now offer a number of alternative ways to confirm a customer’s identity.

Tom Ironside of the British Retail Consortium, a trade body, said retailers had worked hard to prepare for the new rules and “ensure friction was kept to a minimum”. The FCA delayed the rollout of the new rules in 2019 to allow businesses to prepare, and again because of the pandemic when many businesses went online for the first time.

Banking trade body UK Finance said regular payments such as Netflix subscriptions, checks would not be required every time, but may be required the first time a regular payment is set up. It is planned to allow customers to add websites to a list of “trusted beneficiaries” to avoid checks altogether after an initial purchase, a spokesperson said.