Payments company Mastercard unveiled its Click-to-Pay service in the UAE that allows customers to make quick and secure online payments.
The service was first announced in the US in October 2019, followed by the Asia-Pacific region in July last year.
It replaces the time-consuming process of filling out of account details at the checkout stage with a digital icon or button. Users are not required to store their sensitive data with participating merchants.
The UAE will benefit from Click-to-Pay’s “simple and safe technology”, said Girish Nanda, Mastercard’s country manager for the UAE and Pakistan.
“With a unique one-time code issued for the first-time user when they are ready to checkout, shoppers can make purchases across a broad merchant network without worrying about fraud ... transforming the digital shopping space for businesses of all sizes as the barriers to checkout diminish for consumers,” said Mr Nanda on Sunday.
The UAE is the first market in the Middle East where Mastercard has introduced this service. Click to Pay is currently in use in eight markets around the world, said Mr Nanda.
“We are aiming to expand into Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar in the next few months ... our goal for this year is to accelerate adoption of Click to Pay among merchants and consumers so as to make it the industry-wide standard in the years to come.”
Rival Visa unveiled a similar service in the Middle East in July last year.
First time users can complete the one-off Click to Pay enrolment process using their email and phone number.
Click to Pay will then send a secure one-time code whenever a consumer is ready to pay, eliminating the need for the card verification value number.
To ensure that customers’ data is safe, the company uses tokenisation technology.
It replaces a user’s 16-digit account or card number with an encrypted token to thwart fraud.
The new solution is expected to have high approval rates and lead to fewer abandoned online shopping carts, according to Mastercard.
With 57 per cent of consumers in the UAE saying that a secure checkout process is fundamental for a good shopping experience, the new Click-to-Pay icon will add to consumers’ confidence and trust, the company said.
More than 10,000 global merchants had adopted Mastercard's digital checkout solution as of July.
In the UAE, it is supported by Emirates airline, Etisalat, online food ordering company Talabat and Marriott.
More merchants are expected to adopt the solution in the coming months, Mastercard said. The company expects to receive a strong response from customers as more people opt for online shopping amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The adoption of contactless payments is on the rise, with more than 34 per cent of mobile devices expected to use contactless payments by 2025, up from 11 per cent in 2020, according to UK-based Juniper Research.
Last month, Mastercard said up to 30 per cent of the Covid-related surge in e-commerce spending would be a permanent feature in the share of total retail spending in the Middle East and Africa region.
The company said 73 per cent of consumers in the region are shopping more online than they did before the pandemic.