UK Finance is recommending a minimum 18-month delay to the introduction of Secure Customer Authentication rules in the UK, with a further one-year extension for the hospitality and travel sector.

Taking its lead from the European Banking Authority, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority in June confirmed a delay to the enforcement of stronger payment security standards to give firms more time to prepare.

With the retail sector warning that more than a quarter of payments would fail under the new regime - which demands a two-step verification process for all online purchases over EUR30 - the FCA commissioned UK Finance to draw up an alternative timetable for implementation.

This followed a ruling by the EBA that national authorities could “provide limited additional time” from the initial September 2019 deadline to enable companies to get their act together.

UK Finance is expected to present its recommendations to the FCA next week. They call for a revised March 2021 deadline to implement most of the technical requirements, and a further six months for a full-scale roll out. Companies in the hospitality and travel sector will be given until March 2022 to untangle their “incredibly complex” payment systems.

Discussions are believed to be ongoing among national policy makers over the possibility of co-ordinating the new timetable on a cross-border basis.