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SCA and the Liability Shift

Published 29/09/2020

Benefits of the SCA Liability Shift for Merchants

The SCA liability shift can greatly benefit merchants by reducing chargebacks and the costs associated with fraud, shifting the liability to the card issuer in most cases. Unless 3D Secure authentication is performed, merchants are generally liable for fraudulent activity.

By upgrading to 3D Secure Version 2, merchants can reduce their liability towards fraudulent transactions, therefore reducing risk and increasing profitability. Furthermore, the technology upgrade encourages a more positive user experience for customers through frictionless challenges and improved risk-based decisions using cardholder data which in return can lead to the increase of cardholder confidence.

Switching to 3D Secure Version 2 can result in an estimated 5% to 10% of all authentications resulting in the cardholder being redirected to their issuer’s 3D Secure page to complete the two-factor authentication process. Due to this, most authentication requests will have an estimated authorisation rate of 90%, with the liability for unauthorised transactions passing to the card issuer.

Liability shift and Opayo

We at Opayo specialise in aiding businesses to become compliant with the new SCA mandate. From helping you understand PSD2 to make the switch to 3D Secure Version 2, our specialists are available around the clock to offer advice every step of the way.

We would recommend vendors to contact their merchant banks to determine when the liability shift will occur.

There are also several exemptions to SCA that can be requested by the merchant to improve the transaction process. For further information on leveraging exceptions, please take a look at our article. Additionally, please note that when a merchant chooses to apply an exemption, the liability shifts back to the merchant themselves.


One of the UK’s most trusted payment providers, Opayo has helped businesses grow and accept payments across the country. Our team has expertise in all things payment related, from activating 3D Secure to helping you understand how liability protection works.

We offer an exclusive year-round service for merchants, with help and advice available online or by phone. If you have further questions about SCA or how your business can benefit from the new liability shift, feel free to contact us or browse through our alternative SCA articles.