Complex Made Simple

Have credit card companies finally launched their own Paypal-style checkout system?

Financial services companies Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover have partnered to bring online customers a unified "click to pay" button.

Customers will be able to buy items online with ease using the click to pay button The technology i sbased on based on the Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) standard developed by EMVCo While this solution could help boost online business, there are some challenges to consider

PayPal took the world by storm in the early 2000s, in an era where online commerce was finding growing mainstream success. In search of a streamlined payment option, eBay bought the up and coming PayPal in 2002, helping standardize what we know today in the form of easy online checkout.

After nearly two decades, financial services firms seem to have finally collaborated to bring the internet something akin to a PayPal buy button. They are referring to it as a “Click to Pay” button, and it’s based on the Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) standard developed by EMVCo.

How it works

This week Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express announced that they’ve developed a near universal online checkout system, allowing for customers to buy items online with ease by clicking their unified buy button, referred to as click to pay. 

What that means is that instead of having to enter your bank card details every time you arrive at an e-tailer, this new buy button will allow you to almost instantaneously purchase your item of choice if you card is ascribed to one of these 4 credit card companies, much like a PayPal buy button.  

“Currently, ecommerce sites feature a myriad of checkout buttons, which can be difficult for merchants to manage, and confusing for consumers,” a joint press release explained “As the prevalence of ecommerce has grown, click to pay now helps to address an increasing need for a consistent, simple user experience and stronger protection of payment information across all types of digital channels and cards.”

“This standards-based approach allows consumers to make purchases without having to create or log into an account,” the statement continued. “The idea behind this is to mirror the one, consistent checkout experience that exists in physical stores – with one terminal and one way to pay irrespective of the retailer. The vision for the future of digital commerce is that the new button will replace the current guest checkout process.”

Another recurrent problem that these companies want to address is that of “cart abandonment.” This is when customers give up on a purchase when they find that they have to fill a lengthy payment form.  

Read: Tech Disruption In Retail Banking: GCC Banks catching up

Adoption challenges

While this solution could help boost purchase numbers, there are some challenges to consider. 

Business Insider explains that the key to the initiative’s success will be gaining widespread adoption from both merchants and consumers, as that’s the only way it can create a consistent checkout experience online. 

“To attract merchants, the card networks need to prove that SRC can boost their conversion rates and assuage any concerns about losing out on consumer data — and working with payments providers should help drive adoption,” Jess Turner, Mastercard EVP, product and innovation, North America, told Business Insider Intelligence. “Additionally, retailers may worry that shoppers will stop signing up for customer accounts if they can use the new buy button, potentially limiting their access to consumer data, so the card networks may need to find ways to share such information with merchants.” 

It is not clear if this payment solution will be available in the Middle East any time soon. It seems to focused around US e-retail for the time being. Eventually, it could see its way here. 

Read: The rise of Biometric payments could come in “handy”