How tech is tackling e-commerce frustrations to reduce basket abandonment

By Robert Walls, Head of Solutions, UK&I, Visa

Click to Pay

The impact of Covid-19 has quickened the growth of e-commerce across the UK. In fact, since the first lockdown in March, a third of people in the UK are estimated to have bought items online for the very first time, with 74% planning on keeping their online shopping habit after the restrictions have lifted1.

As families turn to online for everything, from food shopping, to buying gifts ahead of Christmas, it is increasingly important for communities to remain connected with local businesses., designed to connect consumers to local small businesses in the UK, has experienced a 1,300% surge in the number of transactions on the site since March2. The company used this wider user base to hire more staff, expand its service, and increase the number of towns it covers from 25 to 150, with a further 100 locations to follow3.

With online shopping more popular than ever, we take a look at how payment technology has evolved to make it easier for online retailers to drive sales. Key innovations include the introduction of the new Click to Pay checkout experience, designed to help reduce basket abandonment, while keeping merchants and consumers safe during the online shopping process.

E-commerce’s growing pains

While the increased demand for online shopping during the pandemic has introduced millions to the practicality of making purchases from the comfort of their own home, this hasn’t been without frustration for businesses offering goods and services online.

In a physical setting, the risk of a customer choosing to walk away from a checkout without making a purchase is relatively low, however for any retailer looking to drive sales online, the phenomenon of “basket abandonment” has become a consistent source of concern. Having reached the checkout, shoppers may find that they have forgotten key payment details, such as security codes or passwords; something as simple as needing to go to the bother of filling in multiple fields, or locating their wallet may be enough to prevent somebody from completing a purchase.

The rise of mobile shopping has exacerbated some of these issues, as people lose patience inputting details on smaller screens, or find themselves away from their wallets. It is essential for merchants to deliver fast and secure online experiences, with research suggesting that people spend less time browsing on mobile web than desktop sites4.

Reducing payment friction without sacrificing security

Lowering the number of abandoned baskets, caused by difficulties paying at checkout, is important but it must not come at the expense of keeping customers safe. Technologies like Visa Secure analyse the risk profile of payments being made by shoppers online and on mobile, flagging transactions to banks that may merit further scrutiny. Therefore, some e-commerce transactions result in the customer receiving an SMS message from their bank with a One Time Password, while on other occasions the payment is verified immediately. It is all part of the intelligence applied in the background by Visa to help detect, stop or prevent fraud.

Visa Token Service was developed in 2014 to address expanding opportunities to facilitate secure digital payments, including on mobile and other connected devices, underpinning services such as mobile wallets and e-commerce. “Tokenisation” replaces card account details used in transactions with unique digital identifiers, known as tokens. These tokens update automatically when a card is reissued, ensuring details are kept safe even if a mobile device is lost or stolen. Tokenisation has been revolutionary, and continues to shape the future of payments, with over one billion tokens issued in 150 markets since launch, 680 million of which have come in the last 12 months alone5. Visa’s objective is to replace cardholder account numbers used for e-commerce transactions with a Visa token, greatly reducing the risk of fraud and the disruption it poses to consumers.

Introducing the Click to Pay experience

The Click to Pay experience builds on these enabling technologies. It is the latest development in our mission to ensure paying online is as simple as possible. Click to Pay reduces basket abandonment for online retailers operating across any platform. In fact, Visa has contributed significantly to the development and collaboration leading to EMV Secure Remote Commerce, which formed the underlying technology behind Click to Pay.

Using Click to Pay with Visa, consumers only need to provide their payment and delivery details once. The service securely stores the customer’s information once they have established their account details or delivery address for the first time. As a result, this removes the need to re-enter their details when shopping with any merchant that has Click to Pay enabled. Additionally, with more people now choosing to pay on mobile devices, customers using the service will not be asked to enter these details again, even when checking out on a new device.

What’s more, the fact that the technology uses Visa’s Token Service makes this even easier, as consumers won’t even need to fill in their information again when they get a replacement card. Instead, the digital token will be updated automatically. Enabling consumers to “Click to Pay” quickly and easily addresses customer frustration, removes the need to remember details like passwords, and lowers the risk of the customer giving up and abandoning their purchase.

Looking to the future

Click to Pay is just one more step to making the online shopping experience easier. As the world’s leader in digital payments, we are constantly working with the industry to help enable more seamless online shopping experiences for consumers wherever, and whenever they want to pay. Whether it’s through the development of biometric authentication, or facilitating payments through the internet of things, we will continue to anticipate shoppers’ needs to help retailers drive sales, across any platform.

To find out more about Click to Pay with Visa click here.


All brand names, logos and/or trademarks are the property of their respective owners, are used for identification purposes only, and do not necessarily imply product endorsement or affiliation with Visa.

1 Visa, April 2020,
2 Visa,
3 ibid
4 Visa, June 2020
5 Visa, June 2020,

Tag: Digital commerce