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NEW EUROPEAN PLANS THREATEN DISRUPTION AND INCONVENIENCE FOR UK’S ONLINE SHOPPERS

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NEW EUROPEAN PLANS THREATEN DISRUPTION AND INCONVENIENCE FOR UK’S ONLINE SHOPPERS
  • Plans requiring additional checkout steps means more declined transactions and longer and more complicated checkout experiences for UK consumers
  • 52% of UK shoppers say increased online checkout steps will cause them to abandon purchases
  • Changes mean no more express checkouts or quick in-app payments from mobiles, reduced access to non-European online shopping sites, and longer queues at places like toll booths and parking.

Visa has warned that new European rules on e-commerce threaten to seriously disrupt online shopping and cause inconvenience for consumers.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has brought forward proposals for how it will implement what is called strong customer authentication (SCA). The plans include a “one size fits all” approach where every online transaction over €10 will require additional steps at checkout such as entering passwords, codes or using a card reader.

Independent consumer research carried out in five European countries[1] on behalf of Visa, highlighted that 95% of European consumers spend over €10 when shopping online, meaning that these measures would affect millions of shoppers.

These steps would be felt most strongly in the UK, however, as UK consumers are the most prolific online shoppers of those markets surveyed – 63% regularly shop online, compared with the European average of 51%.

For UK online shoppers, the changes are likely to lead to more frustration and more cart abandonment. In fact, the survey found that over half (52%) of consumers would abandon purchases if more steps were added to the checkout.

In practical terms, the proposals would mean:

  • No more express online checkouts for consumers. This includes one-click checkouts even at stores where consumers shop regularly, and no more fast, automatic in-app payments where cards are already stored. Across Europe, express online checkouts currently make up half of all today’s total e-commerce sales, according to Visa’s data.
  • Reduced access to online shopping outside Europe. The proposals mean that international websites selling to UK or European consumers will have to follow the new European rules or purchases will be automatically declined. This will impact 50% of UK shoppers who shop online from retailers outside the EU, according to the survey.

Across Europe, the changes will potentially impact approximately €6bn of transactions, according to Visa’s data.

  • Longer queues and issues using cards at places like toll booths and parking where PINs are not required today.

Peter Bayley, Chief Risk Officer, Europe at Visa, said: “These new proposals threaten to seriously disrupt the way we all shop. The plans will bring a host of complications and inconveniences including more declined transactions and longer and more complicated checkout experiences with little if any benefit to consumers.

“Managing payments is always about balancing security and convenience. If you tip the balance too far one way, you end up making it either too difficult or too risky for consumers to make purchases wherever, whenever and on whatever device they want. Either way it annoys consumers and damages businesses’ potential to sell their goods and services.

“E-commerce has been a European success story in a time of weak overall economic growth but this initiative threatens to slow that growth and reduce the competitiveness of European businesses against competitors from other parts of the globe.”

The EBA will publish its final proposed standards on 12 January 2017. These standards are in response to the requirements of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which mandates SCA for all electronic payments.

Peter Bayley added: “All of this inconvenience comes with no evidence that it will actually reduce fraud. We have a system today that works, what we call risk-based authentication. This enables intelligent decisions about whether a particular purchase is low risk taking into account things like the device that’s being used and previous shopping patterns.

“Fraud on Visa cards today is low, tracking at less than 5 cents in every €100 spent. And consumers are protected from fraud losses anyway – all the risk is taken by the merchants and banks. They are prepared to accept that risk to give a seamless experience to their customers as they know this makes sales more likely and it’s what people now expect.”

For more information on Visa’s response to the EBA, visit https://www.visaeurope.com/about-us/policy-and-regulation/

[1]Populus interviewed 5,136 adults 18+ in the UK (1,096), France (1,011),Germany (1,004), Italy (1,016) and Spain (1,009) online between 2nd and 7th November 2016

Business

Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support – The Sunday Times

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Sunak to raise business tax to pay for COVID-19 support - The Sunday Times 1

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to increase a tax on business to pay for an extension to COVID-19 support schemes in the budget next month, The Sunday Times reported https://bit.ly/3ujaBcU.

Sunak, in his speech on March 3, will announce he is increasing corporation tax from 19 pence in the pound and will outline a pathway where it rises to 23 pence in the pound by the time of the next general election, the report said. The move will raise an expected 12 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) a year, the report added.

According to the report, at least 1 pence is set to be added to the bill for business from this autumn, at a cost to business of 3 billion pounds, with further rises in subsequent years.

Allies of Sunak clarified he would not increase corporation tax higher than 23%.

These measures will be helpful in paying for an extension to the furlough scheme, VAT cuts and business support loans until at least August.

Unlike the 2010 Conservative-led government, which pursued spending cuts to rebalance the economy after the global financial crisis, Sunak is expected to defer most of the toughest decisions about how to pay for that support in his budget speech.

“The corporation tax hike will be higher than expected and the extension of the support schemes will be longer than most people expect,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Insiders indicated the stamp duty holiday on property purchases would also be extended in line with the other coronavirus support measures, the report said.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

($1 = 0.7136 pounds)

 

(Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

 

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Foxconn chairman says expects “limited impact” from chip shortage on clients

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Foxconn chairman says expects "limited impact" from chip shortage on clients 2

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The chairman of Apple Inc supplier Foxconn said on Saturday he expects his company and its clients will face only “limited impact” from a chip shortage that has rattled the global automotive and semiconductor industries.

“Since most of the customers we serve are large customers, they all have proper precautionary planning,” said Liu Young-way, chairman of the manufacturing conglomerate formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd

“Therefore, the impact on these large customers is there, but limited,” he told reporters.

Liu said he expected the company to do well in the first half of 2021, “especially as the pandemic is easing and demand is still being sustained.”

The global spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for laptops, gaming consoles, and other electronics. This caused chip manufacturers to reallocate capacity away from the automotive sector, which was expecting a steep downturn.

Now, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have cut output as chip capacity has shrunk.

Counterpoint Research says the shortage has extended to the smartphone sector, with application processors, display driver chips, and power management chips all facing a crunch.

However, the research firm predicts Apple will face a minimal impact, due to its large size and its suppliers’ tendency to prioritise it. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer.

Foxconn is looking at other areas for growth, including in electric vehicles (EVs), and Liu said their EV development platform MIH now had 736 partner companies participating.

He expected it would have two or three models to show by the fourth quarter, though did not expect EVs to make an obvious contribution to company earnings until 2023.

Liu also said the company was still looking for semiconductor fab purchase opportunities in Southeast Asia after not winning a bid to take over a stake in Malaysia-based 8-inch foundry house Silterra.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanny Kao; Writing by Josh Horwitz; Editing by William Mallard and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules

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EU seeks alliance with U.S. on climate change, tech rules 3

By Sabine Siebold and Kate Abnett

BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe and the United States should join forces in the fight against climate change and agree on a new framework for the digital market, limiting the power of big tech companies, European Union chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

“I am sure: A shared transatlantic commitment to a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050 would make climate neutrality a new global benchmark,” the president of the European Commission said in a speech at the virtual Munich Security Conference on Friday.

“Together, we could create a digital economy rulebook that is valid worldwide: a set of rules based on our values, human rights and pluralism, inclusion and the protection of privacy.”

The EU has pledged to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, while President Joe Biden has committed the United States to become a “net zero economy” by 2050.

Scientists say the world must reach net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times and avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

The hope is that a transatlantic alliance could help persuade large emitters who have yet to commit to this timeline – including China, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, and India.

“The United States is our natural partner for global leadership on climate change,” von der Leyen said.

She called the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol a turning point for the discussion on the impact social media has on democracies.

“Of course, imposing democratic limits on the uncontrolled power of big tech companies alone will not stop political violence,” von der Leyen said. “But it is an important step.”

She was referring to a draft set of rules unveiled in December which aims to rein in tech companies that control troves of data and online platforms relied on by thousands of companies and millions of Europeans for work and social interactions.

They show the European Commission’s frustration with its antitrust cases against the tech giants, notably Alphabet Inc’s Google, which critics say have not addressed the problem.

But they also risk inflaming tensions with Washington, already irked by Brussels’ attempts to tax U.S. tech firms more.

Von der Leyen said Facebook’s decision on a news blackout on Thursday in response to a forthcoming Australian law requiring it and Google to share revenue from news underscored the importance of a global approach to dealing with tech giants.

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robin Emmott and Nick Macfie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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