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Card Companies Move Toward Friction-Free Online Checkout

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E-Commerce checkout friction can be a deal breaker: 85% of online shoppers reported that they have abandoned a purchase upon reaching a merchant’s checkout page at least once in the past year, according to a survey commissioned by American Express. To combat this challenge, American Express, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa are establishing a way for card payments to be made in a secure, consistent manner across web sites, mobile apps and other digital platforms.

The American Express survey found that 89% of retailers expressed interest in an integrated checkout solution that would allow shoppers to experience a unified digital checkout experience. Merchants will move closer to this offering with the establishment of the Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) standard, which is expected to roll out in mid-2019. One effect will be that American Express cards will be enabled for use in the SRC checkout solutions offered by Visa and by Mastercard, which also will accept affiliated cards issued by banks.

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“Today, digital commerce is an inconsistent and often friction-filled experience for consumers, and that also results in poor conversion for merchants,” said TS Anil, Global Head of Payment Products and Platforms at Visa in a statement. “The specification from EMVCo will become a foundation for the evolution of digital payments that will ensure ease of payment for digital and IoT payments well into the future.”

Processors also are attempting to reduce payment friction in physical channels. Mastercard recently made cardholder signatures optional worldwide, a move that is expected to speed checkout and make contactless payment methods more convenient. Visa, American Express and Discover had made signatures optional at the POS in April 2018.

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