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Online payments by Visa cards, up over 50pct in April

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Online payments by Visa cards increased by more than 50pct in April 2020 compared to the same period of last year, given that the e-commerce sector in Romania registered a strong boom after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a company's release.

According to the quoted source, this period accelerated the transition to the digital environment, with many companies being forced to operate online to keep their business afloat, and security measures against COVID-19 influenced the payment behavior of consumers. Thus, there is a growing preference for contactless and mobile payments, as well as a switch towards the online.

"Online shopping and accepting cashless payments are no longer just an advantage, but also a necessity in the current context marked by so many restrictions imposed because of COVID-19. We are witnessing a real change in consumer behavior, given that almost one in seven owners of Visa cards in Romania that did not use to making payments online purchased for the first time goods or services by card on the Internet after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic," said Elena Ungureanu, Visa Country Manager in Romania.

The company notes that although online shopping has grown steadily in Romania in recent years, there is clearly more room for growth, given that only 29pct of Internet users in Romania shopped online last year, as opposed to the average 67pct, according to Eurostat data.

Romanian consumers are increasingly appreciating the advantage of being able to shop anytime and anywhere, to have access to a wider range of products and to compare prices. The largest increases in online transactions can be seen in the supply and arrangement of homes, where the value of online payments has increased almost 10 times, in the case of grocery stores, restaurants, clothing and accessories stores have increased almost three times and utility payments have almost doubled.

As e-commerce grows at a rapid pace, the company's priority is to make the digital payment experience as secure and simple as possible for everyone involved, merchants and consumers alike.

"Nowadays it is very easy and fast to shop online with devices connected to the internet, and tokens contribute to the increased security of digital transactions by replacing the cardholder's 16-digit Visa account number with a unique digital identifier (token) that only Visa can decrypt. Because tokens are specific to a particular device, merchant or type of transaction and can only be validated by Visa, these are useless to fraudsters," the release said.

Consumers intending to make online purchases can confidently use the card-on-file service, currently available at major online merchants, which allows users to save their card details once, upon activation, and then quickly, conveniently and securely, pay with a single click.

The company states that the one-click payment experience eliminates passwords and the need to manually enter card details and other information needed to complete an online transaction once a cardholder has registered. The idea behind it was to reflect the simple payment experience in physical stores, the vision for the future of digital commerce being that the new button will gradually replace the current buying process.

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