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How to Deal with Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for Secure Payments

What is SCA?

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements for online payments took effect within the European Union on September 14th, 2019.

Strong Customer Authentication is one of the new requirements of the PSD2, the second Payment Services Directive which requires authentication for online payments. The aim of SCA is to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure by adding an extra step for authentication.

SCA applies to all online transactions where the payment processor (e.g. the Stripe or PayPal account through which you accept payments) and the card Issuing Bank is from the European Economic Area (EEA).

When Strong Customer Authentication is required for the credit card of one of your customers then, during checkout, on top of the usual credit card number and CVV code they will have to provide more evidence that they are the legitimate owners of the credit card.

Typically, this involves showing an authentication page to the customer. Customers are then prompted to enter a password associated with the card or a verification code sent to their phone.

Note that this is not something that you can disable or even control in any form. Ultimately, the bank that issued the credit card of the customer determines how this is implemented and what kind of additional security credentials the user will have to provide. Some low-value transactions may be exempted by the banks and would not ask for additional authentication, but it’s better to assume that all transactions will require some form of authentication. 

How to edit the SCA-related email

The SCA-related email requesting the end-customer to authorize payment to your school will be sent automatically by the LearnWorlds platform for failed transactions when it comes to subscriptions and/or installments (not for one-off payments) if for some reason the banks do not approve it. 

In order to edit the email, navigate to Settings → Notification emails → SCA-related emails.

We strongly recommend that you enable this email because if you don’t then your customers might not even realize that their payments to your school are not being authorized by their bank. The purpose of this email is to remind them that a transaction is pending and they need to authorize it in order to keep having access to the courses/content of your school.

How to edit the SCA-related text

The popups used for the SCA contain some text which you may customize. LearnWorlds already provides the default English text. However, if you have a different language set up in your school then you may want to translate those strings to your language of choice. 

In order to edit the SCA-related text navigate to Settings → School language → Site Language and while the Account option is selected in the dropdown menu you can translate the highlighted 7 strings.

You can also select the Payments option from the drop-down menu and translate the last 6 strings which are SCA-related. 

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