Purpose Led Rebranding Image

A Guide to Purpose Led (Re)Branding & How We Created Our Own

This blog outlines the key steps to purpose-led (re)branding success. We’ll also talk through how we’ve used this process for our own recent brand update. Some might call this a brand refresh and others a rebrand; either way it’s evolution rather than a revolution. Step 1: Understanding Who You Are Brand purpose has become a bit of a buzz phrase over the last couple of years. Companies have started looking for new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition (other than price, product quality and customer service) and consumers have become more conscious of the products that they are buying and the brands that they are buying from. So, if purpose is the foundation of what makes a brand relevant and necessary, you need to understand the audience that you are selling to and ensure your values align. This is not a new concept. There is a famous video of Steve Jobs in 1997 exploring the core value of Apple in a presentation. In it, he makes it clear that Apple aren’t a company that make computers – obviously they do – but they are in fact a company that “believes people with passion can change the world for the better”, and Apple helps them do that.     According to Simon Sinek, the author of the book “Start with Why”, this is the approach taken by the world’s most successful and pioneering business leaders. By evaluating these leaders, he created the concept of the Golden Circle: Why, How, What. His Ted Talk with over 48 million views is well worth a watch, and in it he outlines that people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.     There are pitfalls which companies can and have fallen into when using this method, as outlined in this blog on UX Planet and this one on Campaign. As such brand purpose doesn’t have to be about changing the world or doing good for society, but about answering customer needs. That’s why understanding who you are, what you stand for and why you are in business, along with what your customers are really looking for is vital to the branding process. Without going through this exercise, you run the risk of being just another brand.   TIP: Keep asking yourself “why” and “so what”? – you’ll eventually get to the real reason!   Our Journey In 2020, we’ll be launching our own purpose-led rebrand. Here, we outline what we did at each stage of the process. In our own rebranding process, we re-explored why the business was established in the first place. When our Managing Director, Joe Baily, created the business, the core value was to help clients better leverage marketing to drive growth within their own businesses. This continues to be the key driver behind our ethos today, and therefore it sits at the centre of our brand. As a result, this is a simplified version of our golden circle: Why? Brand Purpose: We generate business growth through marketing How? We spend time focusing on our clients’ business objectives and set up, allowing us to advise, create and deliver marketing and development solutions at any stage of a marketing process – from strategy development, design and marketing through to supporting your technology platforms. What? Ultimately, our services are the same as a lot of full service digitally focused marketing agencies. Through projects or retainers, we provide a range of marketing and communication, website design, development and support services. As you can see, it’s not what we do that makes us different, or the how, but why! Step 2: Research So, you think you understand who you are and what the purpose of the brand is, but have you actually done anything to validate this? At the end of the day most brands can only exist by driving revenue, and for that you need a market to operate in and customers to buy from you. Research is vital to this validation process and ensuring that your brand purpose differentiates you from the competition. Firstly, it is important to carry out market research. While this should in theory be a detailed and tailored research piece, surveying your key audience (this guide is helpful to understand what brand market research is and why you should be doing it properly), we’re well aware that it isn’t always possible. By taking time to talk to your customers or people you want to be your customers, as well as the people that interact with them on a regular basis, you can obtain objective, insight-based ideas and recommendations. These can then be used to make confident and informed judgements on your brand positioning. Secondly, it’s important to review how your competitors are positioning themselves. If every business has the same messaging, how do you differentiate yourself? With purpose. If your competition has the same purpose, work out why you are different and include this in your positioning. Our Journey By talking to our customers, exploring their needs and objectives, and analysing where we make the biggest impact for our most successful customers, we have been able to understand that our target audience wants business growth, and a partner to support them in achieving that growth. When reviewing our competitors locally, regionally and nationally, we believe that our purpose is the thing that differentiates us from most agencies that look to provide similar support with campaign or project specific objectives. As a result, we know that our brand purpose is right for us, and that we can develop messaging around understanding our customers’ business and their specific objectives. Step 3: Creating & Developing Concepts So, you’ve understood who you are, what your customers want and checked that you really do differentiate yourself from the competition. This has probably given you a good idea of how to position your brand. So now it’s time to get creative and design the different brand elements that will support this purpose. There is of course the one thing that most people instantly think of when it comes to branding, the logo. But, as we know, branding is much more than that. Articulating your brand purpose should be presented both visually (logo, font type, colour palette, imagery etc) and through messaging (both the words you use and the tone of voice you use around them).  While it is important that your logo reflects your brand purpose, it’s actually more important to focus on your messaging.   TIP: Start articulating the messaging first and then use this in your design brief – it’ll make sure your visual brand reflects your purpose.   When it does come to the visuals, remember that the process is a journey of exploration and evolution. It’s very unlikely that the first concept created is going to be what you choose. Be patient and allow time to create the right identity, and effectively reflect the brand purpose, and the messaging that communicates this. Our Journey Fortunately for us, because our brand purpose has remained the broadly the same, our rebrand has been relatively straightforward in terms of positioning our messaging and developing a visual identity. But this doesn’t mean this it’s always been like this for us! Here’s some examples of how we created some concepts for different elements of the new brand: We created a strapline based on “Generating growth through marketing” and then looked to support this through messaging to cover our different types of services: We Create. We Market. We Support   We created numerous concepts and logo designs based on the idea of generating growth                   We introduced some depth to the colour palette to replicate the warmth of being a strategic partner. The Result: Final Brand At some point you’ll realise that you are happy with one of the ideas, or you’ll have a few contenders to choose from. Either way you’ll have to decide: Does it reflect that purpose with a set of elements that are clearly identifiable as your brand? Are you happy/do you like it enough for it to be your brand for a significant amount of time? For your brand to work, you’ll have to create a clear set of brand guidelines covering both the messaging and visual identity. Often seen by some as stifling and annoying, they are vital in ensuring your brand is represented consistently, and therefore becomes identifiable. If you’ve invested the time to create this new brand, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that’s it. Take time to train your staff on your brand, sharing the purpose and core elements that you want them to use when advocating the brand. It’s the only way to achieve full adoption.   TIP: This blog outlines 6 Tips for Better Brand Guidelines   Our Journey Wait and see…

Introducing The Generate UK Marketing Academy To Newbury College Students

Through our conversations with both teachers and students, we were able to better understand the academic landscape and provide recommendations on what could benefit students in terms of knowledge and skills. At Generate UK we want to enable students who have a passion for digital marketing, design or web development to explore their skills and kickstart their career by working with us. We are looking to work with students that are keen to learn and are excited to start their professional journey. The Newbury College Careers event gave us this opportunity as it meant we could speak to passionate students who showcased their work and their achievements. We took the opportunity to introduce the newly launched Generate UK Marketing Academy, allowing students to work with us on a flexible basis as part of their study or as a work placement. We believe that the Generate UK Academy is the perfect way for students to increase their knowledge and grow from a business perspective. What would a student gain from getting involved? Work experience with Generate UK enables students to test out the marketing, design and development career, but there are more benefits to gain from spending time with us. Here are just a few of them: An opportunity to try out what you are learning in the real world Developing skills that will expand your learning Build confidence Improve soft skills – communication, organisation, professionalism, time management and many more Network with professionals in the field Experience on your CV All in all, we believe the Newbury College Careers Event was a great success and we hope to see this grow and evolve next year. If you’re a student or know of a student looking to gain real insight into working with a successful digital marketing agency and want to know more about the Generate UK Marketing Academy, then we’d love to hear from you. Email  info@generateuk.co.uk and one of our team will be delighted to contact you to provide all of the information you need.

Google To Phase Out Third-Party Cookies – All You Need to Know

What are cookies? Website cookies are small-packets of information that your computer stores within a web browser (such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer), and is used to help a website keep track of your visits and activity. Websites could require this information for a whole manner of reasons. For example; an eCommerce business would want to use cookies to ensure that your shopping cart doesn’t reset every time you leave, or a social media network can help make your sign-in experience easier by remembering your log in details for you. If you were to reset your website cookies, you would essentially be starting again online, browsing the web as if it was the first time you had ever done so. Whilst this can be very freeing, it’s not the most efficient online experience. It’s not particularly these cookies that Google, and other browsers, are wanting to move away from however. Third –party tracking cookies, often utilised data platforms, may be used to create long-term records of your internet history, collecting a deep profile of you and your online history. Unlike their first-party counterparts, third-party tracking cookies are accessed on websites that didn’t create them. This allows the cookie’s creator to collect and receive user browsing data from an array of different sources and websites.   Why do companies track your browsing history? Quite simply; to make money. The advertising industry is worth a staggering $565 billion, and information sits at the heart of it. The more information you have, the better you can target your potential customers and increase sales. However, as the industry grows the information collected and sold by providers utilising third-party cookies has become more invasive. For example, dating apps such as Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder have recently been accused of potentially breaking European privacy laws with their decision to collect and sell user invasive information such as their dating choices and precise locations. In a post-GDPR world, browsers have begun to realise that this is, quite frankly, an unacceptable practice and they need to do more to protect their users online.   How will this affect my business? If you are a business that relies heavily on its digital marketing activities this decision could have a significant impact on how your organisation targets and communicates with potential customers online. Depending on how Google Chrome (and other browsers) decide to move forward, we could begin to see the end for third-party data platforms and multi-touch attribution providers. How marketers and advertisers collect, manage and track their campaigns will rely more heavily on first-party data solutions, which could lead to a data monopoly for companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft. This is likely the main reason for browsers to move away from third-party cookies, however we can dream that they have their user’s interests solely at the heart of their decision.   Why is this a good thing? Moving forward, it’s unclear at this stage what the data landscape will look like in 2022, but you can rest easy that this isn’t the end of your data strategy, just a re-alignment. Reliance will of course become heavier on first-party cookies, but the fundamentals of your digital advertising approach will be largely unaffected – unless you are acquiring personal identifiable information (if you are, stop that!). How we use the internet has evolved a lot over the past 25 years, but website cookies have remained largely unchanged in all that time. This is far from the ‘cookie-pocalpse’ that is being portrayed online, but an opportunity for a fresh start for the whole digital industry. With Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies by 2022, the media industry has been offered a period of transition to establish better practices and an environment for innovation. We may even see a renaissance for more traditional marketing and advertising practices has we move away from invasion and towards inspiration.   To discuss how your business can improve its digital marketing activities and get your data strategy ready for 2022, speak to one of our expert marketing consultants today!
Social Media Strategies

Top 5 Social Media Trends For 2020

1. Balance Between Public and Private Social Platforms The key to progress is to choose the best journey for your company. In 2019, successful brands tended to utilise both private and public social strategies to achieve an appropriate balance between awareness and personalised service: Public channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, are very useful to generate buzz and increase awareness and engagement. All organisations should be immersed in these channels as it’s essential to build external trust. From private social media channels, such as WhatsApp, companies can build deeper relationships with their clients and offer a personalised service. Users prefer a personalised service and it’s important to use one-on-one communication to provide value to your customers. However, you have to know how to combine both social media strategies. Here are 3 steps to obtain the best social media results in 2020: Create a seamless journey between public and private Depending on your industry, one of both options will be a better option. E-commerce and B2C companies are more suitable to integrate public and private channels to deliver the best customer service. Automate easy messages Considering that time is money, automation tools are great for companies that want to save both valuable sources. However, customers want to communicate with people, so they can handle more difficult conversations.Saving time through automation can sometimes lead to negative customer experiences, so it’s important to not automate all the social actions. Respect the function and nuances of private channels Normally, private channels are used as a friendly tool to speak with your loved ones. In this case, the context is extremely important. Marketers have to make sure they don’t use an inappropriate advertising language and chase their audiences in private tools. These social channels are commonly used in a friendly context and it’s important to keep this atmosphere. 2. Build External Trust Through Your Employees Another trend for 2020 is using social media as a platform to show the role that employees have in their company. This will become a part of corporate strategies for organisations. 75% of people surveyed in Hootsuite analysis, affirmed that they trust employees. In this way, Hootsuite predicts that organisations are going to amplify their company purpose with employee advocacy and building strong employee culture. For 2020, the social media management dashboard, Hootsuite, estimates that the internal culture of trust, the employer benefits and growth should be shared in companies’ social platforms to build an external trust and reputation. 3. TikTok  TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world for the first quarter of 2019, and is a platform with over 800 million monthly active users. The audience of TikTok are people from the ages of 16 to 23 and the majority reside in China. For this reason, unless your target audience is part of that sector, organisations shouldn’t invest in this platform, as the demographics are very niche. However, all marketers should consider keeping an eye on TikTok, as it can be a great tool to monitor trends and content which could be applicable to your channels. 4. Give Campaigns Time There isn’t a successful formula for social media. Everything depends on the industry, your audience and the types of content you’re creating. The best way to measure the success of your a social media marketing performance is to create multi-funnel social ad campaigns and give them time to perform. 5. Attribution One of the most important things about marketing is analysing and measuring the performance of your strategy. This will be the only way for marketers to see the ROI that they are getting back from their actions. According to Hootsuite, 70% of social marketers aren’t using an attribution model. To accurately measure the performance of social, it is essential to have a holistic view by using multiple analytics sources, omni-channel integrations, and not reinventing the wheel.

Helen & Douglas House Christmas Appeal

Helen & Douglas House helps local families cope with the challenges of looking after a terminally ill baby or child who will die prematurely. It is a home from home for local terminally ill children and their families – providing round-the-clock care in a warm, loving environment. We asked for, and were provided with, a bespoke list of Christmas presents and items to donate for a Christmas party for the children and their families on Thursday 19th December. “This is a season of giving, and we felt it was incredibly important to give back to the local community, and especially an important charity such as Helen and Douglas House,” says Joe Baily, “it has been a rewarding experience to provide joy to the children that call Helen and Douglas House their home, especially during the Christmas period.” Presents supplied by Generate UK for Helen and Douglas House included: Toys and games Arts and crafts equipment such as paints, colouring books and pens. Experiential items such as night lights and bubble kits. “It was great to meet Adele, Stephanie and Joe and show them around our hospice. From all of us at Helen & Douglas House, thank you very much to Generate UK for your kind generosity and fantastic support this Christmas.” – Helen & Douglas House Merry Christmas from everyone at Generate UK!  

Top Web Design trends of 2019

1) Simplistic Minimalism Minimalism isn’t a recent form of web design although it has become more popular in recent years with some brands adopting the style in a range of different ways. However, it is generally agreed that where minimalism is concerned, you may potentially force a user to perform in a particular way that they either don’t understand or recognise. However, when simplistic works well and users are guided through a simple and easy to understand journey, minimalism can work great for improving click through rates and conversions.   2) Serif fontfaces Most working in the design and creative industry will be aware of the often-unfollowed opinion that serif fonts are for print and sans serif font faces are for screen. However, recent design trends see serif fonts taking up more screens with some big brands breaking the rule in an unconventional, yet trendy move. Sans fonts are great for readability which is why most websites adopting this new trend are still utilising sans for smaller text but using big, bold serif for heading and titles.   3) Natural, smooth shapes Web design typically consists of the use grids and solid lines, however, recently the web design industry has seen the use of softer, more natural shapes and lines across websites.   4) Monochromatic and absence of colour Modern websites typically use a wide range of different colours and styles however, recent web design trends have seen the use of monochromatic themes and limited colour pallets take the forefront. This trend can sometimes be limiting but when it’s done right, it can help to solidify brand identity whilst being very memorable.   5) Overlapping design elements The use of overlapping design elements looks similar to the use of broken grid layouts. It takes a lot of careful consideration to get this trend to work great because of the complexity that comes with it’s style. Both in terms of it visual aesthetic and the design of the style. In order achieve a great result it important to consider important areas of the site and how the journey of the user is incorporated into it.   6) Large experimental menus and navigation Large and experimental website navigations aren’t typically used on corporate and professional websites for a couple of reasons- mainly because they’re experimental and most client’s don’t want to risk users becoming confused or lost on their website. However, the use of experimental and large navigation menus are cropping up around the web nonetheless. 7) Vibrant colour The use of vibrant colour pallets as another great way to grab user attention and solidify brand identity. Use of high contrast gradient backgrounds to bright image overlays and animations have dotted the internet since its earliest conception and most feel as tough the trend will only become more appealing as more and more brands attempt to ‘fit in’ with the latest web design trends. 8) Abstract design The use of abstract design elements is an interesting way to grab user attention and deeply embed branding into the core of your website. Abstract web design also helps you to really stand out amongst your competitors as being unique. This is further amplified by the use of exciting colours, shapes, styles and themes. 9) Single Page Single page web design is a great way to guide your users through a story, not just a marketing journey. Most web design then features the use of single page design needs to be inclusive of important visual elements that are easily recognisable such as anchor menus and buttons. When done correctly single page sites can also encompass brand continuity and style. 10) Gradients The use of gradients has become highly popular within the web design industry and is basically a multipurpose design trend that helps to add modern style to a website. Use of gradients in web design is a fantastic way to incorporate colour and pattern into almost any style, but are most commonly used on projects that are ‘art poor’ or have little artistic design elements.
adults using social media

The Benefits Of Social Media For Your Brand

Build a Reputation One of the main reasons why your brand should turn to using social media is the fact it provides your business with a voice from which to communicate with, and attract, new audiences. People want to work with other people, especially for B2B industries, where building a client relationship is an important step in the pre-sales process. Before social media the only interactions consumers had with brands were impersonal, but now with the help of social media, brands can create interactions with consumers that are a lot more personal. Share Your Knowledge Sharing your knowledge is a great way to get your brand noticed in the wide world of social media. Consumers are always looking for great content they can engage with, and, as experts in your field, there is a lot of opportunity to share original and relevant content to engage and delight potential customers. This can increase your reputation within your field and further position your brand as a thought leader in your industry, which in turn can make people turn to your brand over your competitors. Communicate With Your Audience Every brand has a target audience, and, in most cases, your audience will be using social media, whether that be informally (via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter) or in a professional environment, such as LinkedIn. If your audience is already engaging and interacting within these channels, it should be vitally important for you to join them. With the amount of information consumers can share with social media companies, it makes it a lot easier for companies to use this information to target their products and services directly to their specific target audience, but this information comes at a cost. However, Social Media advertising can typically be more effective than advertising via more traditional channels such as print, display or paid search. Given the breadth of data available for brands, it’s an easy decision to begin targeting customers via social media. Create a Community A brilliant concept for having a social media presence is the fact you can create your own community, if the content you produce can attract the right consumers, they can become advocates of your brand. These advocates can promote your brand without you doing anything, this might include them posting about why they prefer your brand and why others should use it, or even re-sharing your content for their followers to see, which in turn will cause people to purchase your product and service. How We Can Help We’ve worked with a vast range of different target markets and have successfully used social media to increase brand awareness, grow brand communities, generate leads, drive high-quality traffic to our clients’ websites and engage with customers, prospects and other relevant industry influencers. Having managed global social media accounts for leading household names, as well as tailored and localised campaigns for SMEs, we are well versed in helping you get the most out of your social media profile. Speak to one of our expert team today to start building your brand’s online presence.

Where To Start With SEO?

On-page SEO This SEO value looks at how your pages are optimised. For example, content, tags and URLS. To begin with on-page SEO you need to look at your websites content, does it include your keywords and provide potential customers with as much detail as possible? If it doesn’t then you will need to have a re-think of the content and potentially introduce appropriate keywords into the content naturally. Another item to investigate is the title tag, this is the section displayed to users in the search results page and also at the top of your browser. It is vital this contains a couple of your main keywords, as this will grant search engines an understanding of what your page offers and if it suits a user’s search – if it does your site should appear.   Optimal Title Tag format: Primary keyword – Secondary keyword | Brand Name   Off-Page SEO This SEO value is regarding actions that are taken outside your website can have an impact on your rank on search engine result pages. For example, a site may link back to a blog post your have posted previously as they enjoyed the content and want their viewers/customers to read – these are called backlinks. A good way to receive a higher number of backlinks is to make sure your content is of a higher quality and is better than your competitors. The more backlinks you receive the more search engines see your content as a higher quality and reward you for this. There are three main types of backlinks your site can receive, these are:   Natural links – these links are granted without any action from the site owner. For example, someone who wants to share your article about a specific product. Manually built links – These links are requested by the site owner, they can include getting customers to link to your site, or influencers sharing your content Self-created links – these are links that the site owner has created themselves. For example, online directory, press releases etc…   Technical SEO This SEO value looks at details ‘behind’ your website like the code and how quick your website loads. This is where you will need to look at your page source, one of the vital parts you will need to look out for is if your site is mobile friendly. Google first look at how friendly your website is towards mobiles before deciding on where to rank your site. There are certain parts of the code which make your site mobile friendly, your web developer should be aware of what these are, but it is just part of the code where developers can alter a page’s content depending on a certain sized browser. Another section of the technical SEO is how quick your website loads, Google’s ideal load time of a page is 1 second, this may seem very short, but if your page is optimised properly this shouldn’t be hard to achieve. A way to make sure your sites code is optimised is by making sure tags are optimised. For example, if multiple tags are required to be a certain colour, it is best practice to make sure all the tags are put into the same CSS Tag, again your web developer should be aware of this:   Poorly optimised: H1 { color:black} P { color:black} Optimised: H1, P { color:black}   Now, with these added tools you should now be able to optimise your website and reach more potential customers through search engines, but as with anything it is all trial and error. So, make sure you note what changes you have made and what impact it has on the website stats. Speak to one of our marketing specialists today to learn more about how to improve your SEO ranking and how it can help your organisation.
Google Ads Grant

Charities & Non-Profits – Are You Using Google Ad Grants?

What are Google Ad Grants? Google Ad Grants is an initiative from Google to provide eligible charities and non-profits up to $10,000 a month in Google Ad spend. There are countless ways to use the grant to help your charity; from recruiting volunteers, attracting more donations, or helping those in need, the Google Ad Grant should make up an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Exclusively for Search based advertising, the Google Ad Grant is there to help your non-profit achieve its mission.   How to qualify for Google Ad Grants In order to qualify for a grant, certain criteria must be met to ensure that the ad spend is being used effectively. Here’s how your non-profit can qualify: Be based in an eligible country. Your non-profit must hold valid charity status. Governmental entities, hospitals and medical groups, schools, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google Ad Grants. Have a quality website that meets Google’s website policy. Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use.   As well meeting the above eligibility criteria, your non-profit will also need to comply with the following policies to ensure that it continues to receive the grant on a monthly basis. Do not target single-word keywords – own brand keywords and some other exceptions can be permitted. Avoid overly generic keywords – helps to ensure that your advertising will be relevant to the searcher’s query. Ensure keywords have a quality score about 1 or 2 – a quality score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. Maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) each month – a high click-through rate is a strong indicator of the strength of your relevancy to a search term. Must have valid conversion tracking – accurate conversion tracking shows to Google that you are using the grant effectively. This could take the form of a form submission, a donation or someone calling your organisation. Use at least 2 ad groups per campaign – ad groups allow you to organise similar keywords under a common umbrella to allow for greater targeting. Make sure you have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions – sitelinks provide searchers with other links to your website within your advertisement.   Google Ad Grants Success Story PACT is an adoption charity and family support provider which helps hundreds of families every year through outstanding adoption services and award-winning therapeutic support and inspirational community projects across London and the south of England. PACT identified that a Google Ads Grant would help the charity achieve its goals of reaching those looking to grow their families, as well as increase their awareness amongst prospective parents. Since asking Generate UK to mage its Google Advertising, PACT now receive thousands of impressions from a highly relevant audience, increasing the chances of achieving their goals of strengthening families and finding children new homes. “As a charity we have a limited budget for marketing so using the Grant account as effectively as possible is absolutely vital for us. Our work has a direct impact on the lives of children who have had a traumatic start in life and having the Google Ads Grant behind us is helping us make even more of a difference.” PACT   How We Can Help We are Google Ads certified partners and have extensive experience with all paid advertising channels enabling us to advise, build and optimise campaigns to meet your marketing goals. We’ve helped countless charities and non-profit organisations benefit from Google Ad Grants – vastly increasing their marketing performance – helping to achieve their mission. Speak to one of our marketing specialists today to learn more about Google Ad Grants and how they can help your organisation.
customer Authentication - ecommerce websites

PSD2: Customer Authentication & Your E-Commerce Site

What is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)? Strong Customer Authentication is defined as: “an authentication based on the use of two or more elements categorised as knowledge (something only the user knows), possession (something only the user possesses) and inherence (something the user is) that are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and is designed in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of the authentication data” In a nutshell, SCA asks that at least 2 elements are used to authenticate transactions, an example of Multi-Factor Authentication. On 14th September, any payments made online should be made in a way that satisfies this condition. How does Multi-Factor Authentication work? If you bank online, you may already have multi factor authentication set up. For example, you may need to enter a password and also provide a code generated on your smartphone. This is an example of 2 factor authentication (2FA)- even if someone guesses your password, they still need to get your device to authenticate. This creates another level of security for users. A range of factors can be used, including: ‘Knowledge factors’ such as passwords or PINs and secret questions ‘Possession factors’ such as code generators, for example a device you can generate a code with ‘Inherent factors’ such as fingerprints or face recognition ‘Location factors’ such as only allowing access to users connected to a company network The prevalence of smart phones means many systems use these in some way, with options for sending users SMS, scanning QR codes or using an app to generate a code. How does this affect your e-commerce site? Just as websites are built on a variety of platforms, there are a range of solutions to take care of merchant’s payment needs in the online world. Most payment gateways we looked at are turning to a technology called 3D Secure v2. You may be familiar with the first version of 3D Secure- a little window opens in the page and you enter a password which is verified by your bank. It’s the online version of entering a PIN number. It has its detractors though, so recently a new version has been released which promises to make the process easier and safer. Benefits of the new version include the use of increased data sharing, meaning many more data points can be checked and shared with the user’s bank, all silently in the background. The bank can then use this data to make a series of checks. This should appeal to online merchants, as it improves the user experience. If the bank does decide that the user does need to authenticate further, the experience should be smoother, with improved messaging and better support for a variety of devices. What can you do to prepare? Firstly, Generate UK would always recommend any payment gateway software installed on your site is kept up to date. This should ensure you are taking advantage of any new features. You should check with your provider to make sure they are implementing 3D Secure v2: SagePay PayPal Stripe Worldpay And if you need some help or a point in the right direction, contact Generate UK.  Ask how we can assist in making sure your site is set up in the best way to keep your transactions safe.