Hundreds of thousands of consumers could face Christmas shopping chaos this December if they don’t have a mobile phone signal or a device to hand, according to The Sun.
British banks are introducing new security measures that require online shoppers to go through extra verification if they spend more than £27 in one transaction. A single-use password will be sent to their mobile phone by text, which payment providers then check before authorising the sale. Extra verification will also apply once a consumer spends £90 in total on a particular object – or if five separate payments of £27 payments are made.
For those living in rural areas, or simply those without a phone, the change could mean they face difficulties at checkout. The change comes as part of an EU directive that enforces a €30 threshold among member states.
It has already been adopted in the UK as banks are urged to find new ways of checking customer’s identity.
The Payment Services Directive (PSD2), will come into force across the whole of Britain by September 2019.
It is currently unclear what happens for people without phone signal or a mobile device.
James Daley, the managing director of Fairer Finance, told The BBC: “Banks are not yet great at looking after people at the margins – because they’re disabled, or because they live with no mobile coverage.
“These systems are designed for the 95% – while the remaining 5% are hung out to dry.”
UK Finance, which represents the UK banking and finance industry, told its members that they need to find other ways of verifying their customers’ identities.
They suggested phoning them on their landline, or by using biometric data.
A spokesman for UK Finance said: “These changes are aimed at further enhancing payment security and reducing fraud.
“The requirements will include exemptions for low-risk and low-value transactions to help prevent any unnecessary inconvenience for customers.”
The bank First Direct is already sending passwords to mobiles.
A spokesman for the bank said: “We do have alternative processes for customers who cannot use this method, and they may be required to call us to authenticate.”