Since the start of the pandemic, there have been varying effects, on the way consumers shop and make payments. We have seen significant impact on lifestyle habits which have also triggered an increased dependence on eCommerce. While the current circumstances have radically reshaped consumers’ shopping patterns and prompted merchants and small business to go online very quickly, consumer expectations have however remained the same – they want a secure, convenient and seamless payment experience, especially now, when most transactions are done online and e-payments fraud is on the rise.
Consumers risk a lot when they provide personal data and sensitive payment information with every purchase made on eCommerce platforms. It is only critical that trusted payment solutions are at the core of every transaction made by a consumer.
The Deloitte 2020 Consumer Review envisages that “given the various scandals around the world, we can expect that trust will continue to be an important theme to consumers in the next decade. They will expect and demand transparency in product and service quality, pricing, and company policies and procedures.” Now, more than ever, merchants are challenged to establish and strengthen customer’s reliance in online shopping and even beyond the pandemic. Customers are also keen to only shop from trusted merchants who have secure eCommerce payment solutions in place.
With the pandemic, digital payments are on the rise and this is expected to continue as the global economy moves onto recovery. Across the financial services sector and digital payments landscape in Nigeria, collaborations have remained a solid approach in addressing some of the major challenges currently affecting the sector. Organisations are coming together to launch different initiatives that can protect and provide value for the consumer to meet eCommerce needs.
The recent ‘Safe is Smart’ initiative by Standard Chartered Bank and Visa have emphasized the need for consumers to adopt more eCommerce and digital solutions in a safe and smart way. The initiative focuses on promoting and educating consumers on smart ideas and e-payments solutions that will drive sustainability, survival and business recovery in the e-payments ecosystem. The initiative also ensures that consumers rely on the most secure payment solutions from Visa’s trusted network, when they make online purchases using their Standard Chartered debit cards or transactions done via the bank’s digital banking app.
In building eCommerce trust, the Visa Secure solution is a verified payments infrastructure that guards consumers’ online safety. This newly improved programme governs online transactions and uses the EMV 3-D secure industry-wide messaging standard that merchants and issuing banks must follow to verify cardholder identity before a transaction is sent for authorization. EMV 3-D Secure is the next-generation version of 3DS 1.0, which Visa developed and owned, and which has been the market’s online security protocol for almost 20 years.
With studies showing that eCommerce transactions make up for a large portion of consumer spending, this partnership also offers benefits for consumers when they shop online. For Standard Chartered, user education is priority. The bank is also strongly focused on championing a digitized payments revolution to provide consumers with convenience and access through its completely digital mobile app. Similarly, Standard Chartered has commenced a 360 loyalty program, where consumer can earn redeemable points whenever they shop.
As we begin to fully understand the importance and long term eCommerce presence in the global and local economies, particularly Nigeria in this case, establishing trust is the first step for consumers who need to be guaranteed of their payment security. While the journey to economic recovery is a slow but steady ride being safe and smart will always remain priority for consumers in the e-payments landscape.