Strong Customer Authentication


Strong Customer Authentication

Making sure it's always you #ItsReallyMe

Add your signposting title here… What's happening?

Financial crime is becoming more common and sophisticated. As your bank, ensuring your money is kept safe and secure is at the heart of everything we do. We are constantly working on better ways to combat fraud, from installing the latest technology to notifying you when we feel something isn’t right.

New regulation being introduced across all UK banks, between now and March 2021, is designed to improve your security and reduce fraud and scams.  It’s called Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) but you may have heard it referred to as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).

Put simply it means you’ll be asked to prove it’s really you more often when:

·        Using Anytime Banking.

·        Buying something online with your card.

·        Making contactless payments.




Add your signposting title here… Logging into your account

When you log in to your account we'll sometimes text a code to your mobile phone. This is called a one time passcode (OTP) and you'll need this to log into and use some of the services within Anytime Banking.

You can also continue to use your Card Reader if you don’t have a mobile phone.

If we can't confirm it's you logging into your account, you’ll experience a restricted service. This means, for example, you’ll only be able to view your balance, order/enable your card reader and make transfers between your own Ulster Bank accounts.

Add your signposting title here… Online Purchases

If you are buying something online we’ll sometimes send a one time passcode (OTP) to your mobile phone. You’ll need this to complete your purchase. 


Add your signposting title here… Make sure your details are up to date

We’ll need your mobile phone number to send you an OTP, or to contact you if we detect any suspicious activity on your account, so it’s really important you make sure we hold the correct details for you. If you have an additional card holder, we’ll also need their number. If you’re in an area with poor phone coverage, or you don’t have a mobile phone, there will be other options available to receive an OTP.



Add your signposting title here… Contactless Payments - We'll ask for your PIN more often

We’ll also ask you to input your PIN more often when you present your card to pay using contactless.  This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your card or account – it’s just another way for us to check it’s really you making the purchase. Simply put your card into the reader and enter your PIN as normal.


Add your signposting title here… What's next?

We're continually investing in new technology to keep your money safe - that's why you’ll notice more features designed to help you prove #ItsReallyMe.  

In March we’re launching Confirmation of Payee, a name checking service.  

When you set up a new payment, we’ll check the name of the person or business you’re paying with their bank. We’ll let you know if the name is a match, close match or no match so you can pay with confidence.

Remember, all banks are making these changes and it just means we’ll   ask you more often to prove #ItsReallyMe


Add your signposting title here… Tackling Fraud & Scams

Be prepared for when criminals might target you; 


  • Ensure you keep your contact details up to date so we can alert you if we detect any suspicious activity on your account.


  • Tell anyone your Anytime Banking login details, activation codes, full PIN, full password or app passcode. Even a caller claiming to be from the bank or police.
  • Transfer money from your account after being instructed to do so, even if that person claims to work for the bank or police.
  • Allow remote access to any device when someone gets in touch with you unexpectedly.
  • If you’re asked to do any of the above, end contact with the individual immediately and contact us using either a number from our website or on the back of your debit or credit card.
Frequently asked questions

When will I need to use a card reader or Anytime Banking card?  

For extra security, you may need to use your card reader to confirm your identity when logging in. We’ll make sure it’s you by asking for something only you know, such as your PIN, and something you have, like your debit card.


If you don’t have a debit card for your account, you can use your Anytime Internet Banking card and PIN with a card reader.


When you bank online, you'll also need a card reader to:


  • Set up a payee.
  • Make a payment for the first time. 
  • Update any regular payments, like standing orders.
  • Update personal details.
  • Manage your activity alerts.

To order a new/replacement card reader, log into Anytime Banking and select “Security” from the left hand menu. Under card reader select “order a card reader”.


If you don’t have a debit card we’ll send you an Anytime Banking card and PIN for you to use. For security we'll send these separately. Your card will arrive within 10 working days and your PIN 3 working days later.

Why do I need a one time passcode?

For extra security, we may ask you for a one time passcode to make sure it’s you logging into Anytime Internet Banking.

If we have your mobile number, you’ll get a text with a one time passcode. Otherwise, you can create one using your card reader.

If the number we have for you isn't correct, you can update it any time by contacting us by using the contact us (opens in a new window) page. Your changes may take up to 3 working days to show in Anytime Internet Banking. 

Lost your card reader? You can order a new one in Anytime Internet Banking, and it will arrive in 5-7 working days.

Will it be harder for me to shop online?

No, but it will be harder for fraudsters to make purchases using your bank details. It only takes a minute or two to complete the extra level of security and when it's done you'll be able to complete your transaction. 


It' s a relatively small step to take but will be a huge step in helping combat fraud. 

Can I still log into Anytime Banking using my debit card details?

No, you'll no longer be able to log into your account using your debit card details. 

What is Confirmation of Payee (CoP) and how does it work?

Is a new name checking service designed to give you greater confidence you are paying the person or organisation you intended to pay. Find out more

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