January 4, 2017
By Kevin Woodward
Efforts to create unique identification markers for consumers across different merchants will be a challenge for many merchants this year, SIX Payment Services, the payment-processing arm of SIX, operator of Switzerland’s financial-market infrastructure, notes in a report released Wednesday.
“Some payment-service providers are working on the idea of introducing a ‘unique ID’ for each customer,” the report notes. “This would allow for a paying customer to be identified with a unique ID across all channels. This makes it easier for customers to pay, and for merchants to track the journey of new and existing customers in order to optimize the offering. The problem that arises is data protection: who now owns this data? There is currently no legal precedent around this and so the debate is likely to continue through the year and possibly beyond.”
SIX also expects marketplaces, such as Amazon.com Inc. and Etsy Inc., to play a greater role in commerce as merchants seek multiple outlets to sell their products. The dilemma this can pose for merchants is when consumers choose to bypass the marketplace and buy direct from the merchant, but the merchant’s Web site does not offer the same payments options as the marketplace. “It is proven that the abandonment rate increases if the customer does not find his preferred payment,” SIX notes. “To prevent this, merchants should offer the appropriate variety of payment systems for consumers.”
Another change anticipated this year is more fully developed ways to make the online checkout experience, especially on mobile devices, even easier by eliminating steps like entering card numbers or other credentials. SIX cited Mastercard Inc.’s Masterpass digital-payments service as an effort to expedite the checkout process.
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