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Friday, July 10, 2009

This morning I was reading an article from Plugged.in called, "Ecommerce Industry Braces for Change – Online Transaction Made Difficult"

Here is a quick summary:

The Reserve Bank in India is forcing all online transactions to have an extra level of authentication. Online shoppers will NOT be able to use their debit/credit card unless they register with their bank.

Visa uses technology called Verified by Visa and MasterCard uses SecureCode.

Now, I realize this change effects India ONLY at this point. However, how long until these rules and guidelines are forced upon us as well?

"This move will surely impact the ecommerce players in the short run (hopefully limited to short run only)– many shoppers will simply ditch the buying decision at the checkout process."

Although the author of the article felt that sales would only be affected in the short run, I respectfully disagree.

A change like this will affect ecommerce until a much better alternative is created.

Have you ever tried to use the Verified by Visa or SecureCode?

Let me tell you about my recent experience - FAIL

I was on the Delta website booking my flight for Search Engine Strategies San Jose.

The flight was free thanks to miles, but I still had to pay a $10 ticket fee for each ticket. I get to the very end and put in my credit card information for a $20 purchase. I get to the "SecureCode" area and I do not have a password yet.

No problem, I will set one up.

I am entering in all of the information correctly and yet, it will not accept the information. After TWO attempts, it blocks me out and sends me back to the website to put in another credit card.

I am VERY frustrated, but no problem. I am an experienced online shopper. I can handle this.

However, when I am taken back to the Delta website... they want me to call their customer service number instead.

I call their customer service number only to be told that they cannot bypass the SecureCode and I have to purchase online.

PROBLEM - The Delta cart has now LOST my itinerary that took me 45 minutes to put together and the customer service rep says, "You will just have to start over."

If I was purchasing ANYTHING else, I would have left immediately and paid double if I had to. All this trouble for $20???

However, my purchase was not for $20. I was actually getting 2 First Class tickets from Chicago to San Jose for $20.

As I cursed the screen, Delta, my credit card, my bank, and anyone else listening.... I started all over again.

Now imagine your customer trying to purchase something on your website and going through the same BS. Do you think they will bother to call you? If the credit card industry and our government decide to force this security upon us, how will you be affected?

I have a feeling that services like PayPal will be utilized more by customers and ecommerce owners alike.

My question to you, are you offering your customers alternative choices for making payments on your website? Do you offer PayPal as a form of payment?

Remember, you never want to give your customers a reason NOT to buy from you.


by: Shawna Seigel



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