People who shop online may soon need a good phone signal

Ofcom has released a report on smart phone use.
Ofcom has released a report on smart phone use.

With a huge number of people across Hastings and Rother people taking advantage of the ease and convenience of online shopping over the Christmas period there is a warning that it will soon no longer be as simple as clicking a button.

UK banks are starting to introduce a new layer of security, involving passwords sent to your mobile phone, which could create real problems with people in poor reception areas, or those who choose not to use a mobile phone.

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The new rules are part of an EU directive - already adopted by the UK - which is due to come into force by September 2019.

Some banks, such as First Direct, are already rolling out the measure.

This is how the new system works: If online shoppers spend more than about £27 (€30 under the EU directive) in one transaction, payment providers will be required to ask for an extra form of verification, usually sent as a one-time password by text to your mobile phone.

The same will apply once you have spent £90 in total on a particular card - or if you make five separate payments of £27.

Part two of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) - which also introduced the concept of open banking to EU member states - is designed to combat fraud.

The new rules are officially known as “Strong Customer Authentication”.

The requirements will include exemptions for low-risk and low-value transactions to help prevent any unnecessary inconvenience for customers.”

There is also some concern that the banks have not yet done enough to communicate the changes to customers.

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