With consumers shopping online in greater numbers, the four major card networks are preparing to take their new single-click checkout technology international. American Express Co., Discover Financial Services, Mastercard Inc., and Visa Inc. said in a joint announcement Wednesday they are “beginning technical preparations” to launch the technology, Click to Pay, next year in 14 overseas markets.
The networks introduced the common buy button in the United States last fall, just months before the global Covid-19 pandemic kept consumers at home and increased their reliance on e-commerce for everything from groceries and meals to clothing and other essentials. Some 10,000 online merchants are accepting payments through the technology, which streamlines checkout by tokenizing card credentials and replacing multiple branded buy buttons with a single one for all four brands. “It consolidates all the major networks into one integrated buy button,” notes Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite Group, a Boston-based financial-services consultancy.
The “technical preparations” the networks mentioned Wednesday include collaborations with major processors, gateways, and issuers serving multiple geographies, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Global merchants that have signed up to use Click to Pay include Emirates, Mitre 10 (New Zealand) Ltd., Noel Leeming, 1-day, Pizza Hut Australia, The Warehouse, Torpedo7, Ticketek and Warehouse Stationery, according to the joint announcement.
Processors that have agreed to support the global expansion include Checkout.com, Noon Payments, SafeCharge, and Windcave, “amongst others,” the announcement says. In the U.S. rollout, supporting processors included ACI Worldwide, Aurus, Blackbaud, BlueSnap, Braintree (a PayPal Service), Cybersource, Global Payments, Mastercard Payment Gateway Services, and Square Inc.
Technical preparations and regulations in each market likely account for the 2021 launch target, experts say, but once these hurdles are cleared, volumes should start flowing quickly through the single buy button. “Given the breadth of the organizations working with the networks to implement [Click to Pay] in other markets and the major merchants committing to use the capability, implementation shouldn’t take too long,” says Peterson.
The streamlined checkout embarks on expansion as consumers are increasingly ordering goods online in reaction to the global pandemic. In the United Kingdom, e-commerce volume hit 33% of total retail sales in April and May, an all-time high, according to Mastercard. In the United States, spending online increased fully 93% year-over-year in May, according to the network.
The common buy button relies on the Secure Remote Commerce standard developed by EMVCo, an organization controlled by Japan’s JCB and China’s UnionPay payments networks in addition to AmEx, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa.