25 years ago, shopping malls reigned supreme, Neiman Marcus introduced the ‘gift card’1, and Pizza Hut started accepting online orders for the first time. Shoppers did not have the luxury of buying anything they wanted from the comfort of their sofas, and long lines and fragmented payment technology made for frustrating checkout experiences. As the Internet ushered in the age of ecommerce, the advancement of secure digital payments brought to life the potential of a now multi-billion-dollar industry.
The ecommerce ecosystem has drastically evolved since the first online purchase was made on the Visa network on August 11, 1994. In 2018 alone, global e-retail sales amounted to 2.8 trillion U.S. dollars, and projections show a growth of up to 4.8 trillion total U.S. dollars by 20212. As companies like Amazon and eBay ushered in a new generation of digital-first marketplaces, Visa introduced digital payment solutions like Visa Checkout, as well as security advances with 3D Secure and Visa Token Service, all of which have paved the way for the future of digital payments.
As we celebrate 25 years of ecommerce, we look at what is on the horizon:
- Visa Secure Remote Commerce (Visa SRC): Built on new EMV®3 standards for Secure Remote Commerce (SRC), Visa SRC provides the technical groundwork for the digital commerce ecosystem of tomorrow and creates convenient and consistent payment experiences. Visa SRC supports tokenization, which removes sensitive data from the transaction and routes new device information through the transaction flow. Using tokens protects both merchants and consumers and also increases rates of authorized payments. To build on EMVCo standards and Visa SRC, Visa is working to make digital checkout more friction-free and secure, which can help increase the potential for merchant sales conversion.
- Internet of Things: From connected cars and connected devices to voice-enabled and wearable technologies, Visa continues to partner with device manufacturers to offer integrated payments for wearables that blend function and style. Payments will continue to be available in a range of clothes, accessories, devices—and even cars—that enable you to communicate, plan and pay without having to reach for your wallet or phone.
- Biometrics: The transition to fingerprint and eye scanning technology promises to simplify customer experiences. Security analysts point out that as more applications enter the market, fingerprint-scanning technologies will improve, and even more biometric methods will become prevalent.
As ecommerce celebrates its 25th anniversary, Visa is excited to enable the future of payments for Visa cardholders, alongside its partners. Visa encourages merchants and payment service providers to visit the Visa Ready Portal or talk with your Visa representative to learn more about how to join our digital programs.
3 EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.