Delay enforcement of Strong Customer Authentication – MHRA

Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) together with the European hospitality sector has called on national authorities to delay enforcement of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) as offered by the European Banking Authority.

Due to Payment Service Providers’ and merchants’ lack of readiness for the new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) standard for online transactions, MHRA together with HOTREC, which represents the hotels, restaurants and café industry at European level, calls on national competent authorities to make use of the flexible supervision period proposed by the European Banking Authority (EBA) in its recent opinion and therefore not enforce it as of 14 September as initially foreseen.

MHRA and HOTREC also calls on national competent authorities to agree with the EBA on a common deadline and European roadmap for implementation of SCA by all merchants and Payment Service Providers.

“Implementing SCA in the hospitality sector is a huge challenge, as businesses rely on layers of intermediation and differed transactions such as cancellation fees. As technical solutions are not yet available in many cases, national authorities shall delay enforcement” said Jens Zimmer Christensen, President of HOTREC.

The hospitality industry is a cross-border industry with a high-share of cross-border payments. Diverging approaches and deadlines for SCA implementation between Member States would inevitably lead to a high share of valid transactions being rejected due to differences in the stage of preparation of the main players in the payment ecosystems when established in different countries. This would dramatically impact both businesses and consumers.

“To avoid a major economic disruption on the tourism market, we also need competent authorities and the EBA to agree on a pan-European roadmap to ensure a smooth and harmonised transition to SCA-compliance. An 18 months harmonised transition period is needed” added Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.