With the advent of mobile commerce technologies and increasingly higher standards regarding consumer data transmission and storage, the online payments industry is one of the most rapidly evolving areas of e-commerce. Today’s merchants face the difficult task of complying with the latest security standards while trying to remain flexible enough to integrate with a variety of new devices and systems adopted by online shoppers.
Most of the major credit card companies and financial institutions are testing and developing new innovations in online payment solutions, as are mobile carriers and familiar providers such as PayPal, Amazon and Google, as well as an array of lesser-known companies and startups. The potential payoff for having the right payments solution now could be higher revenues and fewer headaches down the road for e-commerce merchants, though it’s near impossible to predict how things will ultimately unfold.
Here we take a look at some of the emerging players in the mobile and alternative payments category:
Merchants that opt for CRE Secure’s patent-pending Clone technology get a PCI-compliant payments system that integrates with their existing shopping cart program and maintains their current banking relationships. Customers’ card transactions are hosted in a secure data center without any disruption to the shopping process, providing a fluid but secure transition during checkout and cutting down on shopping cart abandonment. If the retailer or merchant already has an account with a participating credit card processor, they are responsible for a monthly fee plus transactions fees.
Like CRE’s service, Braintree Payment Solutions takes the merchant outside of the scope of PCI compliance requirements by authenticating customer sales on their own servers and providing the retailers with a token of each transaction. Braintree’s transparent redirect receives the consumer credit card data on a form that is sent directly to the company’s secure and compliant servers, effectively eliminating the merchant’s server from the transaction. Like CRE, Braintree charges a modest transaction fee on top of a monthly charge for using the service.
Customers shopping on a merchant’s site can select eBillme as their safe, cardless payment option, and the company sends a bill for the amount of the transaction to their e-mail address. It appeals to shoppers looking to stay out of credit card debt and those who are vigilant about protecting their financial data, and the solution relieves retailers from the burdens of operating costs and transaction rates.
Zong currently works with e-commerce merchants and social networks to provide a frictionless mobile payments solution for shoppers. When users hit the Zong payment button on a site, a payment screen appears and the shopper types in their mobile number. The consumer confirms the purchase with a secure PIN number, and no credit card or financial data is transferred in the process.