New banking fraud rules mean some online payments could be blocked

1pMobile customers who havenít updated their contact details with their bank risk seeing online transactions and top-ups declined from 14 March 2022.

New anti-fraud rules came into force from March 14 2022 which means more checks, such as a text or call to your mobile, will be required for certain payments.

For example, you may be sent a one-time code by your bank to prove your identity when making a purchase online. You could also be asked to log into your bankís app to verify your spend.

The checks fall under new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules, which aim to help stop fraudsters from spending your cash. Also known as 3d Secure or 3DS, and two factor authentication or 2FA.

UK Finance, which represents the banking industry, says SCA will be required for almost all online purchases above £25. Multiple low-value payments could also prompt a request for verification.

Exemptions for when the extra security wonít be needed include non-electronic payments such as cheques, direct debit payments, and mail and telephone orders.

For regular payments, such as Netflix subscriptions, SCA wonít be required every time but may be required the first time the payment is set up.

Customers may also be able to add sellers to a "trusted beneficiary" list in future, meaning they wonít need to go through SCA when buying from that organisation. However, many providers, such as Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Santander and Nationwide, have said they will not be offering this.

Each bank will also have a different definition of what counts as a "risky" transaction - so not all lenders will run the same checks for the same purchases.

The new rules mean it is important for customers to keep their contact details up to date with their bank, so they have a means to contact you if you need to verify a payment.

In the worst case scenario, you could risk having payments declined or blocked if your bank can't carry out its checks.

Customers who donít have a smartphone will be offered other ways of verifying their purchase. For example, most banks will offer the option of email or an automated message to your landline.

It comes after consumer group Which? warned that those without a mobile phone, or a signal at home, risk having payments declined if they canít verify their online spend.

You may have noticed the extra security checks already, as some card issuers began implementing SCA checks from January 18 in preparation for the full rollout.

The rules, which have been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), were supposed to come into force from September 2021 but were delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

Mastercard says it expects about 25% of online transactions to require some form of extra verification - up from only 1% of online purchases that currently require a password or some form of ID.

Jana Mackintosh, the managing director of payments at UK Finance, which represents the banking industry, says: "Fraud is a growing problem, with criminals stealing more than £750million in the first half of 2021 alone.

"That is why it is more important than ever that additional protections like SCA are put in place. For retailers, implementing SCA will provide customers peace of mind that payment processes are more secure."

It is important to remain vigilant when it comes to receiving phone calls from someone who you believe is your bank.

Always be wary of calls you weren't expecting and remember, your bank will never ask you for your PIN number or full password - even as part of the new SCA rules.