It seems like there’s a newer, faster payment method for e-commerce every month. What’s that mean for merchants who constantly strive to make the entire pay process easier and more hassle-free for customers? It’s all good news, actually. The latest version of rapid-payment technology to arrive on the scene is Visa’s click to pay, sometimes called “C2P” for short. Since late 2019, the method has been available to merchants who want to integrate it into their online stores, and so far the results have been quite positive.

Not only does Visa’s offering solve a lot of the old problems associated with abandoned shopping carts, it seems to do an excellent job of thwarting fraudulent activities like hacking and data breaches. Merchants should take note: it’s essential to learn the basics about C2P, see how shopping and sign-up operates from the customers’ viewpoint, and understand how the new payment technique prevents fraud and protects sensitive data.

The Short History of C2P

Visa’s click-to-pay (C2P), is easy, fast, and secure. But where did it come from? Four of the world’s biggest credit card companies worked together on the click to pay project in order to solve two basic problems: consumer confusion about how to transmit funds during online shopping, and how to make sure that buyer and merchant data was totally protected in the process.

Those two bugaboos had been holding up the progress of e-commerce for at least a decade. In survey after survey, people revealed that if only online shopping were safer and less complicated, they’d buy more goods and services.

Now, C2P offers a true “one-click” system that incorporates all the best data safeguards available. Since its rollout, millions of online shoppers have gravitated to sellers who offer the simple, safe, ultra-convenient way of paying for just about anything.

Signing Up in Five Easy Steps

Click to pay works on various digital channels and any enabled mobile device or merchant website. As long as the customer is paying with a pre-paid card, a debit card or an AMEX/VISA/MC/Discover credit card. Plus, it works equally well on desktop computers, tablets, phones, and laptops. Within a few months of its debut, the C2P network included more than ten-thousand global merchants, including many of the world’s largest sellers of consumer goods and specialized services.

In addition to the widespread availability of C2P for both merchants and consumers, one of its big pluses is an utterly simple signup procedure. In fact, many people believe ease of signup is one of the reasons the method has caught on so quickly. What do consumers have to do to create an account on most of the platforms?

Here’s a short summary:

  • Email: A person’s email address automatically becomes the official user ID, so it takes just a few second for a person to enter email address they want to associate with their account.
  • Card Number: After that, the user simply enters the three key pieces of data from whatever credit or debit card they want to use in the system, namely the security code, the expire date, and of course the 16-digit card number. Note that this step and others only need be done one time, at signup. After that, it’s truly a “one-click” affair.
  • Billing Address: The address section includes the official “billing address” the buyer wants to use, which is not necessarily always their home address. In nearly every case, however, the system needs for the billing address to match the address on the credit or debit card the consumer enters into the data field at signup.
  • Phone: To enhance security, the C2P arrangement needs a mobile phone to be associated with every user. This allows merchants to verify the identity of buyers and make sure people are who they say they are.
  • Get Your 6-Digit Code: The final part of the enrollment process is the completion of the data collection from the previous four steps and the issuing of a 6-digity code to the user. If there are any gaps or missing pieces of information in the first four steps, the C2P signup protocol will not issue a code to the prospective user. This is one of the built-in security features that prevents fraud and multiple signups of a single person.

The Real Test: Shopping

Merchants can learn a lot about C2P by examining the typical process buyers have to go through during a typical purchase. For instance, instead of seeing a half-dozen or more payment method buttons, there’s only one “click to pay” button. That makes checkout much less confusing for buyers because they don’t have to pick and choose between different payment options.

Once the buyer has previously set up a C2P account, as described above, they never again have to enter ID or card information when making a purchase. So when they click on the pay button, they’ll be prompted to simply enter their C2P user ID, which is the email address they chose to associate with their account. That’s it. Once the consumer enters their user ID and hits “click to pay,” they’ve paid, and the merchant account takes over from there by sending invoices, receipts, or whatever the merchant has chosen to do as follow-up.

What About Combating Website Fraud?

There are numerous ways the C2P strategy fights fraud. For starters, it uses “tokens” instead of data groups to identify users. That means no one’s sensitive information is available to hackers or fraudsters. The token technique uses a combination of biometric information and enhanced analytical methods to verify consumer identity on every transaction.

For merchants, the beauty of the approach is that there is no need to store every customer’s private credit card and personal information on company servers. Not only does this protect consumers but it releases merchants from the grave responsibility of having to constantly safeguard huge masses of buyer information.

Why Now?

Why the need for C2P technology? Probably the most compelling reason is that sellers and buyers have the same interest: to make online purchases quick, simple, and totally safe. It took a few years for all the forces to align correctly, but now that the technology exists to deter fraud, allow for nearly instantaneous buying, and offer built-in simplicity, e-commerce has moved forward in its evolution toward complete easy of payment and funds transfers. What are some of the forces that brought e-commerce to this point? Here are a few:

  • Competition: Merchants were vying with each other to come up with the quickest way to receive payment from buyers.
  • Legal Issues: There was a patent on click-to-pay technology that expired in late 2017, which meant that any credit card company could use it from that point onward.
  • Confused Consumers: Because so many online shoppers abandon their shopping carts for a variety of reasons, corporations who sell directly to the public decided that enough was enough. They resolved to come up with a methods that took the confusion out of e-commerce for buyers. After a few years of research and testing, they came up with click-to-pay, which goes a long way toward solving the abandoned cart problem.
  • Ease of Integration for Merchants: Merchants have always sought to set up uniform payment systems that don’t call for specialized IT integration. With C2P, any seller can equip their website with the app in minutes.

Make C2P a Part of Your Shopping Cart

It’s obvious that click to pay is the wave of the near future, until something simpler and more secure comes along. But for now, merchants have a vested interest in getting on board and enabling their sits for C2P. At Metro Payment Technologies, we help companies of all sizes get up and running not only with C2P but with dozens of other products and services that make selling easy.

Check out our website or give us a call at our toll-free number, 1-800-771-3719 , to learn more about how your can get going with click to pay and make all your commercial websites more powerful and user-friendly.