A major change is coming to credit card transactions in the European Union on January 1st, and Blacknight is ready. We’re now fully integrated with the new Strong Customer Authentication regulations, a new payment process that has been in the works from EU regulators and payment processors. This matters for customers purchasing products from Blacknight but also for our customers who process e-commerce transactions on their websites.  

What is Strong Customer Authentication? 

From January 1st, all credit card payments must be compliant with Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a new European regulatory requirement meant to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure. To accept online payments and meet SCA requirements, customers will need additional authentication when checking out to ensure the transaction is not fraudulent. SCA requires authentication to use at least two of the following three elements. 

  • Something the customer knows (special password or PIN) 
  • Something the customers has (phone or hardware token) 
  • Something the customer is (fingerprint or face recognition) 

Some processors may call it something different – for example, Global Payments is calling it: Strong Customer Authentication with 3D Secure 2. 

Here’s a short video from Stripe that explains it all: 

For Blacknight Customers 

All existing credit cards on record with Blacknight have been converted to the new standard, and those with auto-billing set on their accounts should not have to do anything. However, if you change your credit card information or add a new credit card, there will now be an extra step when making a purchase, using two-factor authentication.  

This two-factor authentication is set up through your bank, and there are various methods. Sometimes it’s a unique code, an authentication app or they’ll ask you to open their app and confirm the transaction. If this process fails, the charge will not complete. 

This applies to all customer-initiated transactions where the customer or the cardholder’s bank is within the European Economic Area (and most likely the UK as well, whatever happens with Brexit).

We’ve added a new and better way to manage your payment methods within our checkout system. You can see what payment methods you have on file by going to the store and clicking Payment Methods on the top-right menu. If you need to add a new card, you’ll go through the new SCA process. 

If you have any questions about the billing on your account and how this will affect you, feel free to get in touch with the Blacknight Billing Department 

For Your Customers 

If you’re a Blacknight Customer running e-commerce or billing on your hosting plans, you need to be aware of these new rules if you’re within the EU. Your payment processor should have already been in touch with you on making sure your systems are upgraded and compliant with the new standard.  

The two biggest payment processors in Ireland have set up information pages that you may want to check out: 

You may not have to do anything, but you should check and make sure all your payment processor software and plugins are up to date, so they’re compliant with these new standards.  

Otherwise, from January 1st, your customers may have problems making new purchases from your website as the payment services begin finalising these changes. 

For Website Developers or Maintainers 

For the technically minded, this information is for you. If you’re using Realex’s HPP (Hosted payment page), Direct POST or Pay by Link checkout methods likely here will be no changes required. However, if you’re using their API you’ll have to change checkout flows and much of your code will need to be reviewed. If you had previously integrated 3D Secure V1, V2 is similar but quite different and requires in-depth testing. 

For example, you need to create the Client now within Realex/GlobalPay’s backend and add the card and retrieve a token which you will now store for future payments. Then in the future, you’ll initiate payments using the token rather than a card. Your customer chooses a stored card from within your system. This increases convenience and will likely help improve your cart abandonment rates. 

An extra step when making a purchase is not usually something we want to have to do, but in the end, it will make us all safer when we make purchases online. Blacknight is ready! 

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