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PSD2 strong customer authentication FAQs

New regulations for online payments

Online banking security is increasing

As part of new regulations introduced in September 2019, the banking sector is introducing Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to help fight fraud and increase the security of online payments. We implemented SCA changes to our Internet Banking service in December 2019 to help prevent fraud and keep your money safe.

These are actions you need to take as part of SCA:

If you use Internet Banking

The authentication process for logging in has changed. In addition to answering your security questions, you may need to respond to an automated phone call and enter a four-digit verification code. This additional step will only be requested once every three months.

You will also be asked to enter the security code when performing other actions on Internet Banking, like making payments to new beneficiaries or updating key payment data. It will also be triggered when you access account history over three months old.

This second factor of authentication is being introduced to ensure your Internet Banking data is secure and to reduce fraud.

Update your contact details

It’s important that your phone and email address details are up to date, to ensure we can send you security codes and you can bank online without interruptions.

You can update your details by logging into Internet Banking and sending us a secure message. You can also visit

Alternatively, you can call our dedicated number, 0345 245 0020
Office hours: Monday 8.30am-5pm Tuesday 8.30am-5pm Wednesday 8.30am-5pm Thursday 9.30am-5pm Friday 8.30am-5pm

Tips for logging in using Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

Now that SCA has been implemented on your account, the following tips will help you access your account more easily. You can also view our tutorials here.

Subject Tips
Logging in Do not enter the authentication code until you are prompted. If you enter the code too soon, the code won’t be recognised, and you will be prompted to enter it again.

When entering the authentication code into your phone, please ensure that there is not a high level of background noise.

You not be able to receive calls that are redirected, via a receptionist or to a voice message.

Passwords and authentication If you are registering another phone number, you will need to repeat the authentication process – please view our tutorials for a step-by-step guide.

When resetting your password, please wait for the full 5 minutes, as advised before logging in again. If you attempt to login too soon, your password may not be accepted. If you try to log in multiple times, then you may be blocked, and you will have to give us a call to get your access unblocked.

If you receive a new temporary password, you will need to key this in the using upper case characters as instructed. When you then set up a new password, this will be case sensitive, so please ensure that you are not entering this new password using all upper-case characters.

If you have blocked unrecognised numbers, then you will not receive the authentication call. The telephone number is 07418 349 203

Other For security reasons, it is very important that you do not use any other logins except your own.

If you have not logged in for several months, please call us on 0345 245 0020. We will need to set up a new profile for you to comply with our enhanced security policies.

If you receive an error code and need to call us, please make a note of the error code – this will help us to resolve your query more quickly.

A guide to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) under PSD2

Questions Answers
Why is Unity making changes to Internet Banking? A new EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2) took effect in January 2018, bringing in new laws aimed at enhancing consumer rights and reducing online fraud.

A key element of PSD2 is the introduction of additional security authentications for online transactions, known as strong customer authentication (SCA).

When did the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulations take effect? SCA was introduced in the UK on 14 September 2019. However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has agreed a 6-month extension for the introduction of SCA.

The plan reflects the opinion of the European Banking Authority (EBA) who stated that more time was needed for implementation.

Unity Trust Bank completed the implementation of SCA in December 2019, ahead of the March 2020 deadline.

Why is SCA needed? Payment fraud losses have been steadily increasing for nearly a decade. The European Commission has intervened by placing SCA requirements on participants to reduce fraud as one of the core components of PSD2.

SCA is a new European regulatory requirement to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure.

What is SCA? PSD2 requires the use of two independent sources of validation for certain actions completed online, this means selecting a combination of two out of the three categories to validate your identity (commonly known as the ‘two-factor authentication’):

– Something you know (e.g. PIN)
– Something you have (e.g. card/phone)
– Something you are (e.g. fingerprint)

This is applicable to transactions in the European Economic Area (EEA) only, where both payer and payee are in the region.

What changes will I see on Internet Banking? Certain activity on Internet Banking now requires a second factor of authentication. In practice, this means you will be asked to enter a code shown on the Internet Banking screen following receipt of an automated phone call, to confirm you are the person making the request.

The phone message will confirm the details of the payment so you can be sure you are authorising the correct information and the call is genuine.

Can I opt out? No, this is a regulatory change and you cannot opt out
When will the changes start? Unity phased in the changes during December 2019.
How do I make payments without SCA? All transactions that qualify for SCA will require additional authentication to submit.

We will tell you at the time of making the payment if you will be required to submit a second factor.

Typically, this will be for payments to new beneficiaries or making changes to beneficiary account details.

You will not be able to submit a payment if you do not provide the second factor when requested.

What if my phone details aren’t up to date? We have attempted to contact all of our Internet Banking customers by phone, email and post, to make sure we have your up to date contact details.

If you have not responded to our requests, please help us ensure we have the correct phone number and email address details for you by:

– Logging into online banking and sending a secure message
– Calling our dedicated number 0345 245 0020

Office hours: Monday 8.30am-5pm Tuesday 8.30am-5pm Wednesday 8.30am-5pm Thursday 9.30am-5pm Friday 8.30am-5pm

– Updating your details online at

How do I register phone number(s) for SCA? If you haven’t done so already, you will be given the opportunity to register one or more phone numbers.

Simply follow the on-screen instructions when logging into Internet Banking.

It is important that you complete this process when prompted, otherwise you will not be able to access your account.

What if my colleague submits the payment and I’m the authoriser, will I have to use SCA too? No, we will only ask the colleague submitting the payment to undertake two-factor authentication.
How will I perform SCA if I have accessibility needs? We’re committed to making the information and resources that we provide online, accessible to all users.

If you have any specific requirements that we need to be made aware of, please email us at [email protected] or call us on 0345 140 1000.

What actions will be affected? There are additional actions within Internet Banking that will require SCA, these include:

– Accessing transactions and statements over 3 months old;
– logging in every 3 months; and
– making changes to your beneficiaries payment details, e.g. changing the destination account number or sort code.

You will be automatically advised if your activity requires secondary authentication and the instructions required to follow the authorisation process.

Will any guides be available to show how the SCA process works? Yes, we have created a number of tutorials that you can view here.
Is there another way I can provide SCA? Currently, we are only providing SCA by a phone call.
Does it affect my user privileges? No, this will not change any of your existing access levels and permissions as an Internet Banking user
Should I do anything differently when using Internet Banking? No. The system will automatically escalate any activity that will require a second factor of authentication to complete.

Just follow the instructions on screen and ensure you have your registered phone with you if you want to make urgent transactions.

What if I change my contact details? You should update the contact details we hold for you by:

– Calling our dedicated number 0345 245 0020

Office hours: Monday 8.30am-5pm Tuesday 8.30am-5pm Wednesday 8.30am-5pm Thursday 9.30am-5pm Friday 8.30am-5pm

– Updating your details online at

We can store several numbers that you can choose to use online.

Can I store more than one phone number? Yes, you can give us all your contact numbers so when you are asked to perform SCA you will be able to choose the phone number for us to contact you on at the point of submitting your instruction.
How do I know it’s secure? We are committed to continuously improving the security of our online banking. This is another measure that will help prevent fraud and keep your banking secure online.

We will never ask you for the following:

– Your PIN
– Your credit cards, chequebooks or cash
– Your Internet Banking password to transfer funds to another account for “safekeeping”

Who will be contacted? Only the individual submitting the payment will be called and they will be contacted on the number(s) they have registered with the bank.

They will be informed at the point of making the payment that additional security is required before the payment can be made, therefore they will need to have access to their phone before starting their online banking activities.

Can we use our office phone number? Everyone using online banking will need access to the phone number they have registered with the bank. It’s important not to use group or shared numbers as you must be able to answer the call while making the payment for it to be submitted. It will be possible to register several numbers with us, and then you can select the number to call from a list provided.

Your organisation’s authorisation process will not be affected by these changes, and only the user submitting the payment will be required to provide additional authentication.

If you usually require two people to make payments online this will not change, only the submitter may be asked for additional verification.


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