&l;p&g;&l;img class=&q;dam-image ap size-large wp-image-b1cda3d737e841fdaa6ed3fc5555d51d&q; src=&q;https://specials-images.forbesimg.com/dam/imageserve/b1cda3d737e841fdaa6ed3fc5555d51d/960×0.jpg?fit=scale&q; data-height=&q;670&q; data-width=&q;960&q;&g; (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
In the physical world, card transactions flow through point-of-sale (POS) terminals certified by the payment networks. These terminals are bound by industry standards and manufactured by a relatively small number of hardware companies, creating a near-universal checkout experience from merchant to merchant. This level of consistency and standardization is not seen in digital commerce, where approaches to checkout&a;nbsp;are varied and transactions filter through a highly fragmented and complex web of payments and technology providers. While in-store payments have&a;nbsp;uniformity, online payments are the wild west.
The absence of checkout homogeneity in digital commerce has created, among other things, an inconsistent customer experience, low conversion rates and a disjointed approach to security. This was reluctantly tolerated for decades, but burgeoning digital commerce growth is creating an impetus for change; &l;a href=&q;https://451research.com/&q; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;451 Research&s;s Global Unified Commerce Forecast&l;/a&g; projects online retail sales to expand from $2.8 trillion this year to $5.8 trillion by 2022.
With the recent backing of &l;a href=&q;https://www.emvco.com/emv-technologies/src/&q; target=&q;_blank&q;&g;EMVCo&s;s Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) framework&l;/a&g;, Visa and Mastercard have made an important first step toward bringing uniformity to digital commerce transactions. In their support of the SRC approach, both networks have surfaced the idea of a universal &s;buy button&s; as a way to deliver a common, secure checkout experience across all merchants selling online.&a;nbsp;Their idea is that by implementing a familiar and ubiquitous checkout option, security and authentication approaches can be standardized and&a;nbsp;consumers will no longer be confronted by laborious and inconsistent payment processes.
There is much room for speculation as to what extent the various payment networks will collaborate on a universal buy button. One plausible approach would be for a standardized buy button icon integrated on a merchants&s; website or app that, upon authentication, renders the various payment methods a customer has previously enrolled&a;nbsp;through their bank. There is an opportunity for Visa and Mastercard&s;s own digital wallets to evolve to support this approach. Visa Checkout and Masterpass&a;nbsp;could&a;nbsp;&l;span&g;become enrollment mechanisms that provide issuing banks an interface for their cardholders to load, tokenize and store their chosen payment credentials for use in an SRC-enabled checkout experience.&l;/span&g;
Still, attempting to implement changes to the checkout flow at scale will require an unprecedented level of orchestration and collaboration across the end-to-end digital commerce value chain. Issuing and acquiring banks, payment gateways, payment service providers, e-commerce platforms, shopping carts, app developers and many other commerce intermediaries will need be perfectly in sync to ensure consistency and universal delivery.&a;nbsp;Merchant input will also be essential given the importance&a;nbsp;of their support for&a;nbsp;a universal buy button&a;nbsp;to move from ideation to implementation.
&l;span&g;Execution against the SRC framework and the move toward a universal buy button will be challenging, time consuming and resource intensive.&a;nbsp;The endeavor is admirable and the impetus is clear, but more industry input is required to shape and direct its evolution.&a;nbsp;Visa and Mastercard have encouraged the industry to start the conversation, and it will be critical for the many different types of digital commerce stakeholders to provide their input before further progress is made. Without multiple perspectives and consensus, a universal buy button will share the same fate as the many digital wallets that remain starved for merchant and consumer adoption.&l;/span&g;&l;/p&g;