Africa ripe for e-commerce boom

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There is a wonderful opportunity for an e-commerce boom in Africa but security will always be an issue the continent would always have to grapple with.

This is the view of Jonathan Gill, vice-president of Arcot Systems, who was speaking at the CA Southern Africa IT Management Symposium last week.

According to Gill, over the past five years, the Internet, e-commerce and e-business have all grown exponentially with the process of innovation, driven by transformation in business supply chains and the growth of online marketplaces, widening and intensifying on the continent.

In this vein, Gill noted that internationally card issuers like MasterCard, Visa, American Express and JCB were deploying the 3D secure protocol that provides effective ways to protect against fraudulent online transactions.

“The solution is a cloud-based service offering 3D secure-compliant authentication and fraud detection for issuers and merchants allowing consumers to shop safely online. The service provides multiple layers of protection and identity verification in cardholder-not-present situations,” said Gill.

He explained that deployment of the solution dissuades unauthorised use of credit and debit cards for Internet transactions resulting in improved protection from identity theft.

“Above all, online retailers who participate in the 3D secure authentication protocol are assured added protection against fraudulent charge backs from SBI card transactions.”

Gill also explained that 3D secure involves two separate processes: initial user registration and verification during the e-commerce transaction.

“The implementation will provide walls to the unauthorised use of credit and debit cards for Internet transactions. Identity is a critical area for security whether you're talking about in-house or the cloud,” he explained.

Gill also pointed out that allowing for secure authentication from wherever a user happens to be breaks down critical barriers to e-commerce, making the shopping experience both secure and convenient for consumers.

“For a card authentication solution to be truly effective in a non face-to-face environment, it has to be secure, low-cost and consistent across multiple channels.”

Related story:
SA still far from IAM maturity

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