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Payment card providers could join forces to streamline e-commerce

20 April 2018 - 10:57 by Mike Price

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The checkout is seen as being the point at which sites offering safe shopping online can put off customers from making a purchase. Overcomplicated payment processes are blamed for these abandoned e-commerce carts, but now two major organisations may team up to tackle this issue.

Market Watch reports that Visa and Mastercard are in talks to ditch their distinct instant payment platforms and instead allow customers to use a single button to complete a transaction, whatever their affiliation.

In the past, the two firms have been competing with one another in the e-commerce market, trying to dominate payments with their own distinct buttons and fight back against newer rivals like PayPal. But this change in tactics suggests that they have recognised the futility of keeping their platforms distinct.

The rise of the internet has thrown up all sorts of complications for payment card companies and traditional banks, with disruptive alternative solutions giving consumers greater choice. And while debit and credit cards are still the most popular way to pay for goods and services  online, it is clear that Visa and Mastercard are keen to hold onto their position, rather than forfeit it because of an unwillingness to collaborate.

For the time being, this move is still in the process of being negotiated and is far from set in stone. But if it goes ahead it will set an intriguing precedent for the rest of the e-commerce market.

It is unlikely that every payment platform will become homogenised to avoid alienating shoppers who are looking for a swift checkout experience. And retailers like Amazon already offer one click payments for those who are willing to set this up in advance.

However, a future in which Visa and Mastercard work together to make online shopping easier sounds like a positive step.