< PrevNext > Patrick Diemer, AirPlus chairman & managing director Defender of Corporate Payments By Amon Cohen / December 14, 2017 Share Buyer groups and card companies breathed a sigh of relief in late November when the European Commission confirmed an exemption for corporate payments from new payment security standards that require strong customer authentication. SCA is a secondary verification of the payer's identity, such as keying in a PIN number received by text, every time the payer makes a remote payment. It's a great idea for reducing high levels of fraud in consumer payments, but it's a lousy idea for corporate mechanisms like central lodge cards, for which no individual is identifiable with the payment and for which fraud levels are low anyway.The capacity for SCA to cripple the lodge card process was blindingly obvious to anyone in corporate travel but not to the European Banking Authority, which drafted the standards at the European Commission's behest in early 2017. With the EBA impervious to argument, thus began frantic lobbying of the European Commission to insert an exemption for corporate payments. The commission listened and drafted a carve-out. The EBA protested. The commission held its ground, and the exemption survived into publication of the commission's final draft.Many associations, companies and individuals contributed valiantly to saving managed travel from a whole world of pain. But one of the most active campaigners was AirPlus' Patrick Diemer, who personally led lobbying of German regulators, European parliamentarians and the European Commission itself and was perhaps the first to draw business travel's attention to the brewing storm. "The major achievement was to make regulators aware of the specifics of corporate requirements because this regulation was created with consumer protection in mind," said Diemer.Even with exemption all but assured, work remains. "We have some cards which count as consumer cards anyway," Diemer said, referring to individual pay company cards that are heavily used in Germany. The travel industry also needs to introduce SCA for leisure customers. Diemer has therefore launched a working group of payment providers, global distribution systems and other relevant parties to create an industry standard for integrating SCA into the travel payment process.