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Consumers warned of e-commerce disruption over new online payment rules

12 August 2019 - 09:49 by Paul Tissington

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Retail experts have suggested that people who want to enjoy shopping online may find that they are prevented from making payment at the checkout as a result of updated legislation aimed at preventing digital fraud.

The Mirror reports that a change to the way in which payments are authorised by banks will mean that users are required to enter a unique PIN to confirm that they are making a genuine purchase, with this multifactor authentication taking advantage of SMS.

Of course, in order to go through the checkout process smoothly, shoppers will need to have their mobile phones to hand to receive the text with their PIN. If their bank does not have an up to date number, or if their phone is not nearby, they may be unable to buy products online.

Another issue raised is that of network coverage; if a consumer lives in an area without an adequate mobile signal, the SMS with the code included may not arrive. This will make life difficult for rural shoppers, which is even more of a problem given that people who live in the countryside may rely more heavily on e-commerce services in the first place.

Banks do have the option to use other means of sending out the PINs to customers, including emailing them or issuing them through a smartphone application. However, there is no single unified approach and so it will be something of a lottery for consumers depending on how their bank of choice decides to deal with the changes.

Even with these potential pitfalls, it is arguably a very good thing to see more steps being taken to prevent fraudulent use of stolen personal information online. Consumers will simply have to get used to this new system and work through any teething troubles.