In our view, there should be strong customer authentication requirements for mail orders and telephone orders. These transactions use remote channels, and, a priori, imply the same risk of payment fraud as other remote transactions, including electronic ones . Therefore we do not see any valid reason for exempting mail and telephone orders from the scope of the Regulatory Technical Standards. Specific types of strong customer authentication could be considered for non-electronic remote transactions.
BEUC considers that, physical objects such as chip cards and smartphones are appropriate to be used in the context of strong customer authentication. For example, there are already solutions on the market that allow using the smartphone as a token for multi-factor authentication. Such solutions are especially well adapted for mobile payment transactions, as the user does not have to carry an additional hardware token around while, at the same time, strong authentication requirements can be met. On the other hand, this raises the issue of security of the hardware and software i.e. currently no common EU level standards exist for mobile payments. Recent recommendations on ‘Mobile and card-based contactless payments’ issued by the Euro Retail Payments Board, if properly implemented, should contribute to remedy this issue.
Another element to take into account is the need to ensure that these new technologies fully comply with the European data protection standards, recently reviewed in the context of the General Data Protection Regulation. Connected devices must integrate the principle of privacy at an early production stage to prevent that sensitive data such as financial data is misused.
Behaviour-based strong customer authentication is already being performed by payment service providers such as card schemes . Those techniques may be efficient to detect irregular transactions and prevent the risk of fraud, for example, where the transaction is initiated from an unusual place, country or IP. On the other hand, users are sometimes unfairly penalised due to automated behaviour-based techniques.
For example, many consumers complain that their credit card gets blocked by the issuer when making payments outside the EU, sometimes without any prior notice. Getting the card unblocked is usually a huge inconvenience and has a cost for the consumer, not to mention the fact that the consumer may run out of money and his holiday or business trip may be put at risk. It can lead to major consumer detriment. Therefore, behaviour-based characteristics could be used as a complementary tool in the context of strong authentication and should in any case involve human intervention on behalf of the payment service provider. Whenever the PSP considers blocking a payment instrument upon suspicion of a fraudulent transaction:
- The PSP should immediately contact the consumer to check whether the transaction had been authorised or not;
- The responsibility on reaching the customer should lie on PSPs and there should be penalties if they do not;
- The procedure for unblocking the payment instrument should be available 24/7 and easy to reach from anywhere around the world;
- The procedure for unblocking the payment instrument should be based on advanced identification and security check, which should be easy to fulfil on the one hand from abroad but enough to ensure authenticity on the other.
As regards remote card payments, currently strong authentication using 3-D Secure varies across banks and countries: in some cases the one-time security code is generated by a card reader provided by the bank, while in some other cases the security code is texted to the consumer’s mobile phone number. This lack of harmonisation provides consumers with an inconsistent experience. Besides that, BEUC members raised the issue of risks related to sending the security code via SMS, which is not perceived as a secure communication channel.
In the context of authentication services it is also essential that consumers’ data is secure and that in case of data breaches, there are effective redress mechanisms in place in compliance with the new data protection rules.
There are possibly some scenarios in which a requirement for dynamic linking for the initiation of a transaction might be difficult to implement for various reasons. We agree that exemptions for such cases could be considered.
Referring specifically to recurring direct debits, in our view, strong authentication with dynamic linking is possible. For example, according to the e-mandate solution developed by the European Payments Council, the consumer has to log into his online banking account (using his personal security credentials and strong authentication with dynamic linking) and then approves that the direct debit mandate was issued by a specific third party payee.
The clarifications suggested by EBA regarding the potential exemptions to strong customer authentication are useful. The PSD2 aims to make sure that all electronic payment services are carried out in a secure manner. For face-to-face payments (by card), Europe adopted the Chip and PIN standard a few years ago, which considerably reduced the levels of fraud in those transactions.
Since then fraudsters have mostly moved to the remote space which is by definition less secure, as the payer and payee do not see each other. For example, when making an online credit card payment, the cardholder enters his card number, expiration date and security number on the back of the card (CVV number). Fraudulent transactions using stolen cards, skimming and phishing techniques are therefore possible where security checks (strong authentication) are not performed by merchants and PSPs.
According to a recent study, mobile commerce is a prime target of payment fraud: while mobile payments account for only 14% of m-commerce merchants’ transactions, this segment of merchants attributes 21% of fraud to mobile transactions.
We consider that preventive measures are very important for all payment transactions and any possible exemptions must be duly substantiated. We also acknowledge the importance of convenience, e.g. consumers are usually not required to type their PIN code for low value face-to-face contactless payments.
A good level of protection for consumers of payment services is provided through an adequate combination of preventive and curative measures. Providing a hassle-free and unconditional refund in case of unauthorised, fraudulent and disputed payment transactions is a precondition necessary to help reassure consumers in retail payments and contribute to innovation, convenience, and smooth payment experience. EBA should consider this crucial aspect when drafting the Regulatory Technical Standards.
The PSD2 aims to better protect consumers against fraudulent transactions where the consumer has not acted fraudulently or has not committed gross negligence . Yet in reality consumers often face difficulties in obtaining quick redress, as some PSPs tend to shift the liability to the consumer. For example, a French bank that repeatedly rejected consumers’ refund claims for fraudulent transactions was recently ordered by a court to fully refund their money . In Germany, a prima facie approach (‘Anscheinsbeweis’ in German) has been used by courts to merely assume gross negligence behaviour even if no proof of such behaviour has been provided.
Paragraph 45 refers to behaviour-based risk analyses, which is not always reliable in practice and can cause detriment to the consumer. See our response to Q3.
The clarifications suggested by EBA regarding the protection of users’ personal security credentials are useful.
BEUC welcomes the fact that the previously unregulated third-party payment initiation service and account information service providers (PIS and AIS) have been brought under the scope of the PSD2. PIS will have to comply with a number of requirements as regards their registration and licensing, strong customer authentication, authentication vis-à-vis the consumer’s bank, and liability in case of payment incidents. The liability requirements related to PIS under the PSD2 are very consumer friendly: in case of an unauthorised transaction, the consumer will be entitled to get the refund from his bank; the ultimate liability for the fraudulent transaction will be addressed between the consumer’s bank and the PIS.
A major security concern relates to the operating model where PIS come into possession of the consumer’s personalised security credentials to access his bank account. This threatens consumer security and privacy and by far exceeds the objective, which is to receive payment authorisation and payment guarantee for a specific payment transaction. In some countries, like Denmark, consumers use single sets of personalised security credentials (digital signature) for accessing various services online, e.g. doing online banking or viewing their tax file . BEUC considers that the consumer’s personalised security credentials should not be accessed by any third party, including PIS/AIS.
In spring 2014, the European Commission organised two technical workshops on access to payment accounts by third-party payment service providers. The workshops brought together the representatives of banks, PIS, EBA, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and consumers (BEUC). The participants discussed different possible payment account access models by PIS. Most importantly there was a unanimous agreement on the need for the consumer not to share his reusable personal credentials but sharing one-time dynamic transaction codes would be acceptable. We invite EBA to take those conclusions into account when drafting the Regulatory Technical Standards.
BEUC supports the approach proposed by EBA with respect to common and secure open standards of communication between account servicing payment service providers (banks), AIS and PIS providers, payers, payees and other service providers. See also our response to Q11.
In addition, we would not be in favour of PIS/AIS developing new sets of personalised security credentials, identification and authorisation procedures. That would add more confusion for consumers.
We agree that the e-IDAS regulation could be considered as a possible solution for facilitating strong customer authentication, protecting the confidentiality and the integrity of the payment service users’ personalised security credentials as well as for common and secure open standards of communication for the purpose of identification, authentication, notification, and information. As the European Commission puts it, rolling out e-IDAS means higher security and more convenience for any online activity such as remotely opening a bank account or authenticating for internet payments.
For example, the ERPB report on ‘The pan-European use of electronic mandates for SEPA direct debit’ already explored the possibility of using qualified electronic signatures as an EU-wide and interoperable means of electronically signing mandates. The report refers to best practices in some Nordic and Baltic Member States.
Qualified trust services may well be a solution to the issue of confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal security credentials between AIS, PIS and banks (see our response to Q19). These services must be subject to strict oversight by relevant supervisory authorities.