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Credit Cards and E-Commerce: A Love Affair

How often do you buy things online? Now, how often did you buy things online ten years ago?

E-commerce is becoming an important topic in the global sphere. E-commerce (which stands for “electronic commerce”) refers to the act of buying or selling something via the internet. In recent years, e-commerce has exploded: by 2025, almost 25% of all sales are projected to happen online. The rise of e-commerce has revolutionized the world of payments, profoundly impacting consumer behavior, business models, payment technology, and more. Credit cards are no exception to this trend. As online shopping becomes increasingly prevalent, credit card use is changing, and credit card technology is evolving to keep up. 

Ways in Which Credit Card Use is Changing 

Credit card use is changing in response to rapid e-commerce growth. Here are some of the most important ways in which e-commerce is affecting credit card use: 


Increased Credit Card Adoption 

E-commerce has corresponded with a global surge in credit card adoption. For example, more than one-fourth of American consumers applied for a new credit card in the year preceding October 2021. This is a significant increase from the 15.7% of American consumers who applied for a new credit card in the year preceding October 2020. Because online shopping provides unparalleled convenience, it promotes a fast-paced, on-demand culture. This demand for convenience extends to payment methods, and credit cards may be preferred over other payment methods due to their widespread acceptance, ease of use, and ability to facilitate quick transactions. 


More Cross-Border Transactions 

E-commerce has dissolved geographic barriers by allowing consumers to easily buy products from international retailers. This has influenced credit card use by increasing the volume of cross-border transactions made with credit cards. In 2022, global cross-border spending grew by 23% - and this figure is still rising today


More and Larger Credit Card Transactions 

E-commerce has significantly influenced the spending habits of those who use credit cards; credit cards are now more likely to process a greater number of transactions for greater amounts of money. 2022 saw more than 50 million credit card transactions in the US alone; this figure represents a significant increase from previous years. Further, e-commerce credit card transactions accounted for more than $500 billion in sales in 2023 — another record. The increase in card payments accounted for more than 84% of growth in non-cash payments from 2018 to 2021. 


E-commerce offers consumers the ability to shop 24/7 and access a global marketplace, which drives spending. Online-only deals, discounts, and exclusive offers sweeten the pot. Moreover, e-commerce platforms often use sophisticated algorithms to personalize shopping experiences, presenting tailored product recommendations based on browsing history and past purchases. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services have also gained popularity in the e-commerce sector. Companies like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm allow consumers to split their purchases into interest-free installments; Consumers may opt for BNPL payment schemes to get a product sooner. Ultimately, this all chalks up to one thing: more frequent, and larger, credit card transactions. 


More Mobile Transactions 

E-commerce’s popularity significantly increased the volume of credit card transactions that happen on mobile devices. In short, more people than ever before are using their credit cards to buy things on their phones and tablets. The convenience and accessibility of shopping apps, mobile-friendly websites, secure payment gateways, one-click checkout options, and the widespread adoption of 4G and 5G networks means that consumers can now make purchases anytime and anywhere on mobile devices. In 2021, 72.9% of e-commerce sales were estimated to have been made on mobile devices like phones. More than likely, these sales overwhelmingly involved credit card transactions.  


Shifting Security Needs 

The rise of e-commerce has changed credit card security forever. Card-not-present (CNP) credit card fraud occurs when stolen credit card information is used to make a transaction from a distance, an increasingly problematic issue due to e-commerce: 73% of US card payment fraud is categorized as card-not-present (CNP) fraud. Additionally, market research suggests that CNP fraud increases in correlation with e-commerce growth. As e-commerce continues to boom, CNP fraud will likely follow suit… and credit card fraud solutions will need to keep up. 

How Credit Cards are Evolving to Keep Up 

Credit card technology is developing in response to the above. Here are some of the recent e-commerce-related developments: 


  • Some credit card issuers have introduced no-foreign-transaction-fee cards in an attempt to appeal to online shoppers who purchase from international retailers. 

  • Credit card payment options are now integrated into many e-commerce platforms. For example, on many retailers’ websites and apps, you can save your card information to pay with a once-click checkout experience.  

  • Some credit cards have tailored their rewards offerings in response to e-commerce. For example, many credit cards now offer enhanced rewards for online purchases, such as higher cashback rates, bonus points, or exclusive discounts with specific e-commerce partners. For instance, some credit cards provide extra rewards for purchases made on popular online platforms like Amazon, eBay, or major retail websites. 

  • Credit card anti-fraud protections such as encryption, tokenization, and multi-factor authentication have exploded in popularity in response to increasing levels of CNP fraud. 

Looking Forward and Final Thoughts 

As the relationship between e-commerce and credit cards continues to evolve, credit cards will also change to keep up. It has become critical for credit cards to provide secure, fast, mobile-friendly, easily adoptable payment experiences to keep up with consumers’ evolving needs. One example of e-commerce-focused credit card advancements is EVC (Ellipse Verification Code). Made specifically for e-commerce use, EVC equips payment cards with the security they need to stop e-commerce-related CNP credit card fraud before it occurs. 


E-commerce has boomed in recent years, leading to changes in the use of and technology behind credit cards. Credit cards are now being used more often, more internationally, for larger amounts, and by more people. Credit cards are also more likely to be used for transactions made on mobile devices. Finally, credit cards are now experiencing unprecedented amounts of CNP fraud. Credit card technology has evolved in myriad ways to keep up with these changes, from new rewards offerings and no-international-fees programs to digital wallets and anti-fraud protection such as multi-factor authentication. EVC (Ellipse Verification Code) technology, made specifically for an e-commerce world, is the newest advancement in credit card technology that offers customers fast, secure, easy transactions in every possible card payment scenario. Contact us to learn more about EVC technology today. 



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