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This Sole Payment Security Protocol is Driving Cart Abandonment Online

Cart abandonment: it’s among the biggest headaches in e-commerce. Shoppers fill up their virtual shopping carts with all kinds of goodies but for some reason don’t make it all the way to ponying up their payment details.

Sometimes, they may switch devices and finish the purchase elsewhere, but other instances of cart abandonment leave online retailers downright stymied. And they have good reason to be concerned: the global cart abandonment rate stood at 77.2% for 2016 and was even an higher 85.7% on mobile, according to Juniper Research.

However, new findings from Juniper show that a payment security protocol could be to blame for some consumers aborting a transaction mid-purchase. 3-D Secure, which is designed to insert an additional layer of security for online credit and debit card transactions, can in its most widespread deployment (version 1.0.2) lead to a poor end-user experience for a number of reasons. For one, it doesn’t play well on mobile.

It also leaves the transaction vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks and can be mistaken by the consumer as a phishing attack, given rising awareness of the potential for scams and cybermischief online. On top of that, this version of 3-DS relies on a user-generated password without any strength requirements. It’s no secret consumers still love hacker-friendly passwords like “123456,” “password,” and “12345678,” which were the top three most-used credentials on SplashData’s Top Worst Passwords of 2017.

[Read more on voice shopping: Walmart Enables Voice Shopping With Google Partnership]

Taken in sum, these factors have driven a rise in cart abandonment when 3-DS is part of the checkout process, according to Juniper’s Addressing the Pain Points in E-Retail research, leading some e-commerce companies to skip out on the security protocol altogether. And though it’s effective in reducing fraud online, some merchants feel that promise of greater revenue via completed transactions outweighs the smaller risk of cybercrime.

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The good news, however, is that version 2.0 of 3-DS promises to resolve many of the pressing challenges with the incumbent protocol.

While payment security was among the biggest pain points identified in online retail, it certainly wasn’t alone. Juniper pointed to the emergence of search and product discovery via voice, powered by natural language processing, as a cause for concern among online retailers. Because voice can be up to four times as fast as typing, it’s little wonder this method of search and interaction is rising in popularity among consumers. Lacking the resources to develop their own language-processing solutions, many retailers will be scrambling to integrate with third parties, like Google and Amazon, to incorporate voice search capabilities and capture consumer demand. Notably, last year Perry Ellis launched a skill for Alexa, Amazon’s voice-powered assistant, that helps men choose outfits appropriate for specific occasions.

By 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be conducted via voice, comScore predicted.