KBW Offers Word on a New Mobile Payments Opportunity: Secure Remote Commerce

July 12, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

We’ve already seen how mobile payments can make the checkout experience a breeze, perhaps even more so of a breeze than anyone ever expected. The ability to scan your own items from a smartphone and use a mobile payments tool to pay the bill makes for a much easier time that the current wait-and-pay standard ever could. A new note sent our way from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) illustrates some exciting new possibilities from a related technology: Secure Remote Commerce (SRC).

SRC, as KBW notes, is an attempt by multiple elements within the payments industry to make a single, standardized online checkout operation that can be used by a range of merchants at once. This standardization should in turn make the online checkout concept simpler. It also helps businesses standardize on fees charged and the overall experience.

Such a move, KBW further explains, will be useful in terms of security; with large numbers of checkout points using the same checkout protocols, securing these will be somewhat easier since one set of developments can be used for several different systems.

It won’t come without difficulty, of course; KBW makes it clear that getting buy-in from all these various merchants won’t be easy. Throwing in the card issuers and consumers besides—what point in bringing all this in if the customers won’t use it—and that makes a major shift like this a downright Herculean task. Even KBW expects “resistance” from some of the major retailers.

“Resistance” is putting it lightly. Remember when mobile payments first hit stores, and Walmart—along with a collective of other stores—put most of their effort into developing their own system, the so-called CurrentC system? Where is CurrentC today, you ask? “The ash heap of history” might be the best place to start looking. If they put up that kind of a fight over a mobile payments system, you can imagine what kind of fight they’d put up over a common checkout system.

With many stores already operating their own breed of mobile checkout, the idea that stores would switch in midstream seems at best unlikely and at worst outlandish. Still, anything that makes the in-store checkout experience easier and safer at once is likely worth considering, so some stores may well have to reconsider.