Over half of Irish consumers (53%) plan to continue shopping online where possible due to COVID-19, according to new research commissioned by Visa.
The research shows that restrictions on in-store trading during lockdown has spurred one in four (24%) Irish small businesses to begin selling online for the first time.
Despite the increased appeal of eCommerce, Visa warns that thousands of Irish SMEs risk being unable to trade online successfully due to not having new security features enabled as part of the EU Payment Service Directive (PSD2). From 1st January 2021, online transactions in Europe will be subject to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) measures – requiring banks to request additional information from consumers, such as a fingerprint or four-digit one-time passcode, to verify a purchase.
Those businesses that have not prepared for the regulation, and therefore cannot always deliver compliant transactions, may find that banks have to decline customer payments.
Commenting on the research findings, Ireland Country Manager at Visa, Philip Konopik said, "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, online trading has become increasingly vital for small businesses to reach their consumers. There is a real risk, however, that thousands of Irish small businesses will suddenly find this critical source of revenue switched off because they have failed to prepare for Strong Customer Authentication requirements. We understand that small businesses have other priorities in the current environment, but the deadline set by the European Banking Authority is approaching quickly."
He added, "We are urging any Irish small businesses selling online to contact the company that hosts their online checkout service as soon as possible to switch on the most up-to-date 3D Secure technology and ensure that customers’ transactions are not declined come the New Year."