Offline payment service trades on web risks

A recently launched offline payment service for web retailers, using the “buy now, pay later” concept, now has 300 retailers using the service, as web stores look for ways to reach consumers who fear for the safety of their identity online.

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A recently launched offline payment service for web retailers, using the “buy now, pay later” concept, now has 300 retailers using the service, as web stores look for ways to reach consumers who fear for the safety of their identity online.

PayOffline, a service for which high street bank Alliance & Leicester processes transactions, said that “most” of the leading UK online retail operations were now using the service. One e-tailer, specialist television seller flattelly.co.uk, had reached 5% of its transactions being processed through PayOffline within a month of adding the service, the company said.

Speaking at the Retail Business Show in London, Steve Berry, managing director of PayOffline, said: “At least one in five adults in the UK has been the victim of card fraud, double the figure in other parts of Europe. Our own research of 3,000 consumers made us realise that in this country 58% of online shoppers had decided at some point not to go through with a transaction because of the risk of fraud." Two-thirds of consumers also viewed it as "risky" to enter their card details online, he added.

This meant a significant loss of revenue for e-tailers, Berry said, considering that figures from the Association for Payment Clearing Services showed most online shoppers make over 16 web transactions each year.

“Retailers only offering standard online payments are missing out on large numbers of transactions," said Berry. He said retailers were also missing out on the large numbers of people without credit cards, including those who had recently moved to the country and had no credit history here.

When consumers select PayOffline at the checkout point of an online retailer, they are issued with a barcode to print, and can then take this to a PayZone retailer to pay in person by cash, cheque or credit card. About 17,000 retailers offer the service in the UK , mainly corner stores and local grocery chains. PayOffline also underwrites the transactions, protecting retailers from customer non-payment.

 
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