Debit cards, instant like cash but seen as safer than credit cards, are turning into an aggressive mode of payment for e-commerce transactions. As many as 7,000 online transactions are being done on an average every day through debit cards, echoing a global trend.
“Increasing fraud and lack of adequate Internet security are the reasons why I am not interested in paying online through a credit card for booking air tickets or any general purchases,” says Ajinkya Iyer, a 22-year-old resident in Mumbai’s Chembur.
The key business driver in some cases is the fact that a transaction is directed to a bank’s Website – making the deal that much secure.
Travel portals, much sought after for quick bookings, are moving fast to fulfill the safety-meets-convenience gap by tying up back-end arrangements to suit the mood. Websites like Cleartrip.com, makemytrip.com and Yatra.com are offering the option of debit card payments. “We got feedback from a lot of people writing to us and telling us to explore this option,” says P.K.X. Thomas, Cleartrip’s chief technology officer.
Not all debit cards are accepted yet but Cleartrip has tied up with HDFC Bank, ICICI and Axis Bank to net a combined user base in excess of 50 lakh customers.
Travelguru.com plans to join the gang soon.
With ATMs and debit cards becoming a basic offering for most account holders, especially in private banks, the potential is huge. No official data is available but industry observers say 1.6 crore people in India now transact electronically.
Makymytrip.com does not collect your banking information. “On making a selection, you will be directed to your bank’s website for purchase. After completing the payment process, you will be redirected back to Makemytrip.com to view details,” said a senior official from the portal.
This has also resulted in increased traffic for these sites. According to Cleartrip.com, there has been a 20 per cent increase in traffic. According to marker researcher Nielsen’s report last year, there were 78 crore Visa cards worldwide, of which transactions using debit cards were marginally up at 59 per cent from 58.1 per cent in 2005.