Skip to Main Content Increase Contrast Accessibility Help

PSD2 strong customer authentication FAQs

Keeping your online payments safe

Internet Banking and Strong Customer Authentication

Unity Trust Bank uses Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to increase the security of online payments. This means that certain activity on Internet Banking requires a second factor of authentication to confirm your identity.

This extra level of protection was introduced by banks and online payment providers as part of regulations introduced to help fight fraud. It’s a key element of the EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2), which took effect in January 2018.

How does SCA affect how I use Internet banking?

When using Internet Banking, you may be asked to enter a code shown on screen following 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.

Has Unity made any recent changes to the process?

Unity introduced SCA in December 2019 and we continue to improve the process to make Internet Banking simple and secure.

Following customer feedback, in July 2020 we removed the requirement to receive multiple calls when accessing statements over three months old. We also lengthened the time you have to access additional account details without re-authenticating.

In September 2020, we improved the accuracy of voice recognition and introduced a dedicated Unity phone number for authentication calls (0345 646 0754).

We’ll continue let you know when improvements are released, by email and on our Internet Banking message board.

In May 2021, we introduced SMS authentication for customers who are deaf, hearing impaired or have difficulty responding to the automated SCA phone call. Registered users can receive a text message containing a unique code to enter on their Internet Banking screen to complete SCA.

We’ll continue to let you know when improvements are released, by email and on our Internet Banking message board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer
I’m logging onto Internet Banking for the first time – how do I register phone number(s) for SCA? You can register one or more phone numbers for SCA – 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.
Can I register additional phone numbers? To register another phone number, please call our Customer Services team on 0345 140 1000.
What if I change my SCA registered phone number? Please call our Customer Services team on 0345 140 1000 and we will update your SCA registered phone number, following successful verification.
Can we use our office phone number? Everyone using online banking will need access to the phone number they have registered with Unity. 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.
Can I register if I haven’t logged in recently? If you have not logged in for several months, please call us on 0345 140 1000. We will need to set up a new profile for you to comply with our enhanced security policies.
How do I know SCA is 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’.

Logging in and passwords

Questions Answers
When can I log in after resetting my password? 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.
Why won’t my temporary password work? 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.
I’ve received an error code, what should I do? 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.
Can my colleagues use my login details? For security reasons, it is very important that you do not use any other logins except your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer
Are any guides available? Yes, you can view our SCA tutorials here.
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.

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 Unity.

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

Should I do anything differently when using Internet Banking? No. The system will automatically escalate any activity that requires a second factor of authentication. Just follow the instructions on screen and ensure you have your registered phone with you if you want to make urgent transactions.
Does SCA affect my user privileges? No, this will not change any of your existing access levels and permissions as an Internet Banking user


Question Answer
When do I enter the authentication code? Do not enter or say 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.

We’re making improvements so that you can provide the code earlier in the call – we’ll let you know when this is available.

Why is my code not being recognised? A high level of background noise can mean that the authentication code is not recognised when you enter or say it into your phone.

We introduced enhancements in September 2020 to minimise this issue.

Why am I not receiving the authentication call? If you have blocked unrecognised numbers, then you will not receive the authentication call. The telephone number has changed to 0345 646 0754 – we recommend that you add this number to your contacts.
Can I receive authentication calls that are redirected? You can’t receive calls that are redirected, via a receptionist or to a voice message.
Who needs to provide the authentication? 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.

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.

Other Questions

Question Answer
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.

Customers who are deaf, hearing impaired or have difficulty responding to the automated SCA phone call can use SMS authentication. Users can receive a text message containing a unique code to enter on their Internet Banking screen to complete SCA.

If you would like to register for this service or if you have specific requirements, please email us at or call us on 0345 140 1000.

How do I make payments without SCA? All transactions that qualify for SCA will require additional authentication to submit. We’ll tell you at the time of making the payment if you need to submit a second factor.
Can I opt out? No, this is a regulatory change introduced across the banking sector to improve the security of your online payments.

Switching made simple

By switching your bank account to Unity you’ll be helping to create a better society.  You’ll also benefit from 24/7 access to your account using our Internet Banking service.

The Current Account Switch Service makes the process as easy as possible:

  • We’ll close your existing account for you.
  • We contact your existing bank for a list of your Direct Debit and Standing Order payments for the account you’re switching from.
  • You select the accounts you want us to move to us.

Switch to us

How we make a difference

We are a bank established to serve the needs of our customers and enrich society as a whole.  We work with organisations that aim to have a positive impact on society through economic, community or social change.

Our people support charities and communities through our ‘Unity in the Community’ (UitC) programme.  The Unity team is actively involved in volunteering and fundraising events  organised throughout the year.  Good causes are nominated by our people to receive donations.

To find out more about how we make a difference, view our Impact Report 2020. 

Case studies