The days of “brick-and-mortar” retail locations may be giving way, at least in part, to online shopping. Around the world, almost $2.5 million in sales is generated by shoppers on mobile phones, tablets, or laptop computers. Currently, about one-fifth of all online sales transactions are done on mobile phones, but that percentage is expected to increase drastically in the next several years.
With mobile purchases expected to roughly triple in the next five years to more than $140 billion, pressure to provide secure shopping for online retail customers is rising. Payment processing companies are starting to work with retailers, who want to avoid having to compensate credit and debit card companies for fraudulent purchases. The retail industry refers to this type of transaction as “chargebacks,” and paid over $10 billion to credit card merchants last year.
There are some online websites that function as clearinghouses for small digital retailers. Small businesses can contract to sell under a larger retail rubric, but seller reputations may be impacted by inadvertently processing purchases from intentionally fraudulent accounts. Industry experts also note that retailers may be temporarily or permanently barred from accepting certain methods of payment, in the event of a high percentage of fraud.
Secure payment solutions are rapidly evolving; customers want to make sure that every product ordered is delivered, and in the struggle against identity theft, retailers want to ensure that every product ordered is paid for. Finding creative ways to block identity theft and to verify consumer information is a growth opportunity for the online retail industry as a whole.
Finding ways to preserve shoppers’ privacy while ensuring them the highest quality of service possible is of tantamount importance for retailers and merchant payment gateway companies who want to garner large market shares in the next decade. Otherwise, newly-minted digital retailers — who have to shoulder the cost of fraud and chargebacks without the financial support of a parent company — may find their startup costs a bit too much to bear.