Important: update on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)
Last year we informed you about Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), an element of the new Service Directive (PSD2) legislation that will be introduced in the European Economic Area (EEA). The SCA requires all online businesses to implement more thorough payment authentication measures if both the cardholder and the business’ bank are located in the EEA. This is to ensure that a guest paying at one of your properties is the right card owner.
The legislation came into effect on 14 September 2019. However, in most countries implementation was postponed to start on 1 January 2021, allowing businesses more time to comply with SCA measures. While SCA is expected to be rolled out starting 1 January 2021, each country will set its own timeline to implement the legislation.
The exceptions are:
- France, 14 March 2021
- Germany, 15 March 2021
- United Kingdom,14 September 2021
The extended grace period only applies to domestic payments taken within the country itself. That means if a business in these countries collects any cross-border payments from elsewhere in the EEA, SCA may still apply to those.
Please keep checking this page for the latest country updates.
How we’re supporting you and your properties
We can only support properties with SCA if they’re using one of our payment solutions, where we partially or fully facilitate payments. These are the Virtual Credit Card model and Bank Transfer model. These payment solutions allow us to support properties to ensure they face minimal operational impact due to SCA. Many properties already use these payment solutions, but we’re working on expanding the eligibility criteria so that even more properties in the EEA can use them. We’ll also be making more improvements to our payment solutions in the near future.
The SCA requirements that apply – and how we’re able to support – are determined by which payment solution a property has implemented and how a guest chooses to pay for their reservation:
- Properties on the Virtual Credit Card (VCC) payout model (Online Payments)If a property is already on Online Payments, where some of the payments are facilitated by us, this is how we can support:
- If a guest chooses to pay online, we’ll take care of authenticating their payment transaction on behalf of your properties.
- If a guest chooses to pay the property directly and their card is charged in-person at check-in or check-out, SCA shouldn’t apply and they can continue to do this the same way.
- If a guest chooses to pay the property directly and their card is charged remotely (e.g. for pre-payments, deposits, or no-show fees), SCA may apply. While we don’t process these payments, we offer support at the time of reservation by assessing whether a guest’s payment may be subject to SCA:
- If we believe that SCA may apply, we’ll ask the guest to pay through our Online Payments service.
- If we believe that the payment isn’t subject to SCA, the guest can continue to either pay online or directly at the property.
- Properties may still face declines when trying to charge customer cards remotely because card-issuing banks might change how and when they roll out SCA. In these cases, properties can still use the invalid credit card process.
- Properties on the Bank Transfer payout model (Payments by Booking)Properties that are on Payments by Booking already have all their payments facilitated by us. In this case, we’ll authenticate all transactions on their behalf and they won’t need to take any action.
- Properties that don’t use any of our payments solutionWe can’t offer support to properties that aren’t using one of our payment solutions. But if a property is eligible, we’ll recommend them to opt in to one of our solutions so that we can support them in meeting SCA requirements and minimise the impact on their operations.
How this impacts Connectivity solutions
Because the majority of properties in the EEA are already eligible for at least one of our payment solutions – which enable us to offer SCA support – we aren’t planning any updates to the Reservations API or changes to our Connectivity solutions.
You can find the latest updates and additional Connectivity-related information on SCA in the Connectivity Partner Help Centre. If your properties have any questions about how the SCA affects them, please redirect them to our dedicated Partner Help page.
- SCA requires all online businesses in the European Economic Area (EEA) to implement more thorough payment authentication measures.
- A new deadline of 1 January 2021 has been introduced to enable a smoother transition period for online businesses complying with these SCA measures.
- We aren’t planning any updates to the Reservations API or changes to our Connectivity solutions as the majority of properties in the EEA are already eligible for at least one of our payment solutions.