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February 14, 2017

Retailers oppose EU plan for stricter online security

The proposal would require customers to enter extra security information for online purchases above €10.

By CBR Staff Writer

Retailers are opposing a European Union (EU) plan for stricter online security, saying that the move could cut online sales by over €11bn per year.

Under the new proposal, customers will have to enter extra security information during online purchases for goods worth more than €10.

According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), businesses and credit-card firms are of a view that they will lose sales if internet purchases become too cumbersome.

However, consumer advocates say there is no trade-off between antifraud protections and promoting e-commerce.

The European Banking Authority (EBA), an EU regulatory agency headquartered in London, may urge customers to enter extra information, like a personal identification number, in order to fight fraud. But the authority said it will seriously consider making changes.

The agency aims to announce revisions by the end of this month.

Earlier this year, consumer-rights group BEUC said consumers deserve better security in electronic payments.

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“We disagree that stringent security measures will put people off,” BEUC spokesman Sebastien Pant told the WSJ.

“The situation needs to be improved quite quickly.”

The European consumer organisation has, however, said the logic of the €10 limit does not make any sense when a buyer is known to a merchant.

The proposal revolves around technical standards to the Payment Services Directive, which was introduced in 2007 to create a single European market for payment services which have an electronic component like credit cards and direct debits.

The EBA said a record number of responses were received to its draft standards following its publication in August 2016.

Visa Europe estimates that the new EBA rules could put €11.2bn of online sales a year in Europe at risk, equivalent to around 2% of Europe’s e-commerce market, which is anticipated to have crossed €510bn in 2016.

A survey of over 5,000 adults across Europe, carried out on behalf of Visa, found that 61% of consumers would dump purchases upon addition of more steps to the online payment process.

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