Amid the great digital shift, as more consumers embrace digital wallets and cards and shop at an ever-widening array of merchants, the transformation of guest checkout — in the form of Click to Pay — is poised to reach critical mass.
But it’ll take some education of key stakeholders, merchants and consumers alike to get there, IDEMIA Senior Vice President of Strategy Mehdi Elhaoussine and Discover Global Network Head of SRC Products Ashish Bhatia told PYMNTS in an interview.
In terms of the service itself, the payment networks (Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Discover) began rolling out Click to Pay at the end of 2019, and as its name implies, the service lets users buy items online by clicking a single button which then links to a pre-connected credit or debit card saved with the service.
Click to Pay proponents say consumers save time by sidestepping the need to manually enter card details time and again; the merchants benefit from increased sales conversions. For the networks there’s an advantage, too, as the individual shopping buttons are replaced with one standardized eCommerce option.
In terms of security, along with two-factor authentication, the credit card data is encrypted, tied to a virtual card number, used only once, and only in a specific transaction.
As Elhaoussine told PYMNTS, secure remote commerce (SRC) and Click to Pay can help solve the problem of “crowded real estate” that is now a staple of online commerce — namely, there’s a proliferation of buttons at checkout, leading to fragmentation that can frustrate consumers.
The playing field, Bhatia maintained, is leveled a bit for the enterprises themselves.
“Not everybody has the capability to provide different payment options,” he said, adding that the costs and the manpower hours needed to offer up such functionality can be prohibitive.
SRC, he said, “provides frictionless and more secure options for smaller and medium-sized merchants while reducing their overhead.”
Since the Discover launch of Click to Pay, Bhatia said, “What we’re seeing is a cautiously optimistic approach across the whole ecosystem. Consumers are interested, and enterprises are interested.”
The Need for Education
But along with that interest comes the need for education, said Bhatia, particularly in building merchant acceptance, which will then have a positive ripple effect as wider availability will lead to a greater embrace on the consumer side of the equation.
With a nod toward that consumer acceptance, still in its early stages, Elhaoussine said that, with the payments networks’ logos featured prominently at the checkout page, the service “operates as a trusted brand, which can add to the level of adoption.” The mechanics of the service itself act as a silent authentication mechanism in the background.
More insight into the security protocols tied to SRC/Click to Pay might do much to spur adoption. PYMNTS research has noted that consumers have been ramping up their use of online conduits to transact, but roughly half of consumers are very or extremely concerned with putting personal identifiable information (PII) online.
Looking ahead at the near-term roadmap, Bhatia said that on the heels of launching Click to Pay for its card issuers toward the end of 2020, the firm now has its debit specifications (for debit card issuers) at the ready.
Elhaoussine said the eCommerce ecosystem will continue to strive to find the right balance between security and convenience. SRC is leveraging the latest advanced technologies such as tokenization and device binding to bring greater assurance to the market that payments are secure as they make their way across networks and as the lines between online and offline commerce continue to blur.
As Bhatia told PYMNTS, “We are just scratching the surface.”