NatWest Pay could eliminate debit cards for ecommerce purchases

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NatWest are trialling a new payments system with Carphone Warehouse enabling consumers to pay directly with NatWest pay from their bank accounts without the need to type in debit or credit card numbers. In the trials over half of customers have chosen to use the NatWest Pay service in preference to their debit card.

Currently the NatWest Pay trial appears to be limited to iPhones, when it comes time to pay the consumer is offered the choice of a standard checkout with card or can opt for NatWest’s new service. They user authenticates with SecureID or their password and are then directed to the NatWest banking app to complete the payment.

The service relies on the fact that the consumer wants to pay in the simplest manner possible and all the retailer wants is the ability to be paid by a trusted third party that routes the payment request to the consumer bank to complete the transaction. It’s very much akin to doing a bank transfer, it’s just that the process is built in to the retailer’s checkout by virtue of the NatWest service.

It could get even more interesting in the future due to the new open banking initiatives. Open Banking gives consumers the ability to share their financial information with third parties which means that in the future if you choose to share your banking information with NatWest (even if you’re with a different bank) then you could still benefit from NatWest Pay.

“Open Banking has, first and foremost, been developed with the consumer in mind. Increased competition leads to originality and creativity, with organisations incentivised to launch offers and services that set them apart from the competition. This means that the consumer benefits from personalised deals that match their needs.”
– NatWest

The real killer advantage is that this could reduce the time it takes to complete an ecommerce purchase payment from minutes to seconds as there’s no card numbers to type in – you don’t even need your bank card with you. The one thing that’s still missing is that you’ll still have to henpeck on your mobile to type in your name, email address and delivery address and that’s probably the part of the transaction that takes the most time. On the Carphone Warehouse website you don’t even get the payment option until you’ve completed reams of information.

3 Responses

  1. I’m completely failing to see any benefit at all to customers in that.
    Have i missed something?

    For those who want to keep their financial info on their mobile phones (i certainly don’t), their mobiles are just begging to have your card info in there. once it is you basically tap & pay. job done, no work required. you don’t even need to type in the card info, you can photograph the card once and its done for you.

    So anyone with the natwest banking app probably has a card registered on their phone too. why not use the phone/card, instead of creating a phone/bank transfer?

    apparently the bank transfer option takes longer, has more form-filling to do, and i assume comes with less consumer protection than the card purchase?
    so why would a customer want to use that over the easy, fast, alternatives?



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