Credit card payments will be better secured in the future, but more complicated

Paying by credit card should become more secure. Since March 15, buyers of amounts of 30 euros or more have had to use so-called two-factor authentication to prove that the credit card used really belongs to them.

For a long time it was enough to give the card number, the verification number and the expiry date when paying with a credit card. However, this information is not sufficient to really secure payment transactions. Because it is too easy to get hold of them and abuse them by criminals. For this reason, the EU Payment Directive (PSD 2) has stipulated since September 2019 that credit card holders must use so-called strong customer authentication (SCA), better known as two-factor authentication (2FA), for every online payment. , need to confirm. However, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) granted a delay so that retailers can prepare for the new regulation for credit card payments. This has now finally expired.

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Credit card payments now have two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication has been mandatory for credit card payments since 2021. It was introduced on January 15 for amounts of 250 euros or more, and a month later the limit was lowered to 150 euros. On March 15, the new regulation will come into force for all payments over 30. Those who want to pay for their online orders and bookings by credit card in the future will have to register with their bank for two-factor authentication.

Every bank and every credit institution implements the 2FA differently, there is no uniform procedure. The savings banks, for example, work with the so-called S-ID check, which is implemented using a special app. The process combines the actually separate and card-bound solutions Mastercard Identity Check and Visa Secure and allows customers to verify their credit card payments by TAN or fingerprint. Many other banks also use the TAN for additional security, but sometimes send it by SMS to a mobile phone number stored in the customer account. There is also the option of approving credit card payments by scanning a barcode.

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It remains to be seen how often two-factor authentication will be necessary for online purchases. For amounts under 30 euros, for example, the query is at the discretion of the bank. It is also conceivable that customers who frequently shop at a certain online shop do not have to confirm every payment there.

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