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SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) for Your WooCommerce Store

Last September, SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) became required by the EU. At least that is when it came into force. But according to Wikipedia, some implementation was delayed or phased.

Even though this is strictly for the EU it is good practice for any online store, including those in other countries using WooCommerce.

Some Basics of SCA

If you really want to understand it more, I would suggest you do further research on the subject. WooCommerce.com had their own article on it as well last year. But if you have not heard about it or haven’t really understood what is going on, here it is in a nutshell.

What is SCA?

To put it into as simple terms as possible, it’s a way to force store owners to use two-factor authentication for the majority of their logins. It’s also a banking regulation to allow banks and payment processors to also use a form of two-factor.

What if I am in the US?

Even if you’re a US-based customer, most people in the industry suggest you use it even if it is only required in the EU.

The fact is, in the US, credit and debit cards with the chips in them took a while to get here. Europe had those for years before the US. We know that they are far more secure than just using the swipe and magnetic strip. Others suggest that regulations that in the EU many times go worldwide because they protect consumers and their money.

Are there benefits to the store owner vs. GDPR?

The GDPR was very confusing and overwhelming for a lot of store owners. There were articles everywhere that only made it worse as they all explained it in a different way. In reality, it was mostly about protecting customer data: how you processed the payment with their email addresses, what data you stored and the tools that built it.

With the SCA, the big difference for those who are building plugins and extensions that might be affected is that payment gateways are giving them the tools to integrate it. And best of all, most of the payment gateways are building it into their own platforms.

Educating the right way

When it was known that SCA was around the corner, companies like Stripe were doing a lot of customer outreach and gave vendors the chance to work with them. This consistent communication pays off for both vendors and customers.