Cómo diseñar flujos de pago para SCA

New regulation known as Strong Customer Authentication, or SCA, is changing online payments in Europe. See the impact it may have on your payment flows and learn how Stripe can help.


Last updated on September 14, 2019

Starting September 14, 2019 new payments regulation is being rolled out in Europe, which mandates Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for many online payments in the European Economic Area (EEA). SCA is part of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

To meet the new SCA requirements, a form of two-factor authentication is required for many online card payments in Europe. Without authentication, many payments may be declined by your customers’ banks. We designed new foundational payments APIs to help businesses handle this change and take full advantage of any SCA exemptions.

We recommend using this guide to understand how different types of payment flows have to change due to SCA, and to reference it as you redesign your payment flows.

How payments are changing

Traditional card payments usually involve two steps: authorization and capture. A payment is authorized when a customer’s bank or card issuer decides to approve a payment, and the payment is captured when the card is charged.

With SCA, there is an additional and mandatory step before authorization and capture: authentication. This step helps protect customers by preventing fraud. To authenticate a payment, a customer responds to a prompt from their bank and provides additional information. This may be something they know, like a password, something they use, like their phone, or something that’s part of who they are, like their fingerprint.

The most common way to authenticate a payment is a method called 3D Secure. You may recognize 3D Secure by its branded names, such as “Visa Secure” or “Mastercard Identity Check.” There’s a new version, called 3D Secure 2, that is expected to become the standard method to authenticate payments. You can learn about the differences between these methods in our 3D Secure 2 guide. Our new payments APIs, Stripe Billing, and the new version of Stripe Checkout, all support 3D Secure 2.

No matter what method you use, customers must be on-session to authenticate, which means they need to be using your website or app. Adding this step is be simpler for businesses that charge customers right away, and more complex for businesses that charge customers after they’ve left the checkout flow. (This is sometimes called off-session.)

The scenarios in this guide offer examples of how these three steps (authentication, authorization, and capture) can vary depending on how and when you charge your customers.

  1. Autenticar
    Un cliente autentica un pago por Internet.

    El cliente responde a una solicitud del banco mediante 3D Secure y proporciona datos adicionales para autenticar el pago. Ver la autenticación mediante 3D Secure desde la perspectiva del cliente.

    Se requiere autenticación cuando el pago no es elegible para una exención o cuando el banco del cliente deniega una solicitud de exención. Nuestra API Payment Intents solicita automáticamente las exenciones elegibles antes de añadir el paso de autenticación. De esta manera, se simplifican los flujos de compra y se protegen las tasas de conversión.

    ¿Sabías?: la autenticación debe hacerse durante la sesión del cliente o mientras este está usando tu sitio web o aplicación. Por ello, este paso suele tener lugar cuando el cliente completa el formulario de compra.

  2. Autorizar
    Tu empresa le solicita al banco del cliente que apruebe el pago.

    El banco del cliente resuelve si aprueba o rechaza el pago. Si lo aprueba, los fondos se retienen y se garantizan por siete días. Si se rechaza una solicitud de autorización, tu empresa necesitará un método para que el cliente reinicie sesión para hacer la reautenticación del pago y luego intentar la autorización nuevamente.

    ¿Sabías?: una solicitud de autorización puede ser rechazada por el banco del cliente aun después de haber sido autenticada. Esto sucede si el cliente no tiene fondos suficientes o la tarjeta ha caducado.

  3. Hasta 7 días

    El plazo entre la autorización y la captura puede ser de hasta siete días, pero la mayoría de las empresas captura el pago inmediatamente después de la autorización.

    ¿Sabías?: el banco del cliente puede mostrar que un pago está “pendiente” si este ha sido autorizado, pero aún no ha sido capturado.

  4. Capturar
    La empresa efectúa el cargo en la tarjeta del cliente, con lo que se completa el pago.

Understanding exemptions

There are certain types of payments—such as low-risk transactions, fixed-amount subscriptions, phone sales, and merchant-initiated transactions—that may be exempt from SCA. Merchant-initiated transactions are payments made with a saved card when the customer is off-session. Common examples include a gym membership payment or utility bill. To qualify for this exemption, your business must have an agreement with your customer and have them authenticate their card when it’s being saved or authenticate the first payment. Our Strong Customer Authentication guide goes into greater detail about these exemptions and others.

Stripe’s SCA-ready payment APIs and products help businesses take full advantage of these opportunities by automatically requesting exemptions. When exemptions are accepted by your customers’ banks, your customers won’t have to authenticate, minimizing the impact on conversion.

However, businesses can’t rely on exemptions and must design their payment flows to authenticate customers when necessary. This is because the rules around exemptions depend on your customers’ banks. The banks evaluate each payment and decide whether an exemption applies—and individual banks will apply exemptions differently.

Situaciones empresariales

Para ilustrar la repercusión y la aplicación de la SCA, hemos descrito cómo puede adecuarse el paso de autenticación a los flujos de pago de diferentes modelos de empresa.

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