Ready for the cashless society? Three things e-commerce should consider…

It’s predicted that we’ll be reaching a UK payments milestone on or about March 8th this year when our use of cash will be overtaken by cashless payment methods.

Research by the Payments Council [1] is predicting 18.9 million cash transactions will be made – 400 million fewer than last year. Electronic payments already make up the lion’s share of value, but now even the volumes are comparable.

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The change is driven by widespread adoption of debit card, contactless and mobile payments.

While we may never see a completely cashless society, we may not be far from a time where cash becomes a niche payment method driven by ease of use and perhaps a desire for anonymity. So, in this new world, what things do e-commerce companies need to think about?

1. Mobile devices are a great opportunity for fraudsters!

In the world of electronic payments malware is on the increase – there are more than 500 app stores selling it. This can lead to fraud such as man-in-the-browser attacks, where a legitimate transaction is hijacked to the cyber-criminals benefit. Cyber-crime allows criminals much faster and wider access to money and is harder to spot and react to.

One way to counteract this is through device intelligence, which can help to reduce fraud attacks by making the connection with the legitimate customer and the device they are using.

2. Incorrect entry of identity and payment details

Sometimes we make a mistake and enter incorrect details when trying to complete a purchase online. Things such as entering the wrong bank details or card number, as well as making a mistake in our personal identity details can result in a failed transaction.  By supporting customers to identify any mistakes they’ve made before completing a transaction, failure rates can be reduced, allowing higher numbers of genuine customers to pass through payment and security checks with ease.

3. Make it as easy as 1-2-3…

The drive for the cashless society is about making the payments process quick and hassle free. Customers have come to expect this speed and convenience from online retailers as a matter of course and failure to match systems to this desire will result in customers dropping-off and choosing to do business elsewhere. By ensuring your payments process is not only fast, but safe and secure will help you to reduce basket abandonment and attract new and return business.

Sources: [1] UK Payment Markets – An analysis of recent and emerging developments and forecasts for all forms of payment April 2014