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Visa rolls out online checkout service in Canada as e-commerce surges

Last modified September 15, 2020. Published September 15, 2020. Print article

said on Tuesday that it is bringing its online checkout service Click to Pay to Canada, which will let shoppers make purchases without needing to repeatedly manually give their passwords and account numbers, citing a recent surge in domestic e-commerce.

The credit card issuer noted that it is rolling out Click to Pay, which it first launched in the U.S., as Canadian e-commerce has soared due to COVID-19. It highlighted a study from Statistics Canada that showed a 110.8% increase in May online sales from the year prior as an example.

Visa Canada President Stacey Madge said Click to Pay will benefit merchants amid the e-commerce spike.

"With the increasingly high numbers of online shoppers in the wake of COVID-19, we are committed to providing solutions that lay the groundwork for the next generation of simple, secure, and better ways to pay," Madge said in a statement. "This is a winning solution that will help merchants reduce shopping cart abandonment while providing a single integration for participating card brands – meaning a simpler and smoother overall digital checkout experience."

Visa argued that the status quo for Canadian e-commerce is not user-friendly, pointing to a 2019 study from Fabrizio Ward LLC, a firm which has done market research for Visa, that suggested that 56% of shoppers in the country gave up on their pending purchases due to manual processes.

Users will be able to use Click to Pay on websites that have a button for it, Visa said, adding that they will need to enable their cards to participate. 

Visa also touted Click to Pay’s security features.

“Consumers will also be able to pay with confidence knowing Visa will be using advanced technology and authentication methods, including device binding and biometrics to protect transactions,” Visa said. “The Click to Pay experience is also interoperable with the tokenization specification and with the 3-D Secure specification to bring more security methods to emerging and existing digital payments channels.”

Meanwhile, the company reiterated the adoption of its Visa Token Service, which lets shoppers bypass manually entering account numbers, citing its 1 billionth token issuance in June. The service allows for customers to skip entry if they have information stored with merchants, Visa said; it noted that 13,000 merchants use tokens.

Update: This article has been updated to note that Fabrizio Ward has conducted research for Visa.