About strong customer authentication

Make online card payments more secure

This article is for administrators in the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. 

The EEA implemented strong customer authentication (SCA), a requirement for authenticating online payments. If you’re utilizing payment methods subject to the rules of the EEA, your payments require multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA uses at least 2 of the following 3 elements:

  • Password or PIN
  • Phone or hardware token
  • Fingerprint or face recognition

Note: Google supports the 3DS2 (3D Secure 2) protocol, which is compliant with PSD2 SCA requirements.

Payments accepted

When making a manual or automatic payment with a credit or debit card, you might need to provide confirmation, such as the code from a bank-generated pop-up. Automatic payments can occur periodically when we charge for your Google Workspace subscription.

Adding a new credit or debit card to your account or setting an existing credit or debit card as the primary or backup payment method for your account can also trigger this requirement.

Note: For new accounts, Google requires SCA during the initial card setup. Subsequent automatic transactions are exempt from authentication.

Payments declined

If your payment is declined, contact your bank to see if the declined payment is linked to PSD2. If so, try one of the following options to resolve the issue:

  • Manually pay the account balance—You receive a prompt to authenticate at that stage. 
  • Use a card from a different bank—You might choose this option if your bank doesn’t comply with PSD2, and all your payments are declined.
  • Set up direct debit as a primary form of payment—This option is currently available in Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the UK.

Authorization failed

If you see Authorization failed on a billing statement, contact your bank to resolve the issue.

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