The world’s biggest card networks — including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover Financial Services — have joined forces to create a new one-click payments button making e-commerce transactions easier and reducing cart abandonment.
The networks have developed a checkout option that competes with established offerings from PayPal and Apple Pay that lets consumers save their payment details all in one place. Retailers then offer it as a payment button, thus eliminating the need to type in 16-digit card numbers and expiration dates in tiny boxes.
The new button is “allowing the consumer to go through a guest checkout experience with very limited friction and no static password to remember,” says Jess Turner, Mastercard’s executive vice president of product and innovation for North America.
Many retailers have longed for a checkout experience similar to Amazon.com, which offers one-click payments for consumers who store their credentials. But shoppers are often hesitant to share their financial information with smaller merchants. Early adopters adding the pay button to their websites include Saks Fifth Avenue, Staples and Papa John’s.
The networks have already spent years building out their own buttons, such as Visa Checkout, Masterpass, and American Express Checkout. But those options struggled with less than 5% of online merchants accepting them, compared to 70% for PayPal.
They are now collaborating and shutting their individual brands in favour of the new option. But getting people to switch or sign up could be difficult, given PayPal’s big head start and that only a handful of big retailers have signed on so far.
The offering uses an arrow symbol to promote the “click to pay” option. The card companies have begun discussions with banking partners about how to roll out the technology. For now, the networks don’t plan to introduce any incentives or penalties to entice retailers to adopt the new option.
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