Netflix Claims Earnings Are Down As Many Subscribers Cards on File Do Not Get Updated

Brendan Miller

On Thursday Netflix blamed card processing issues for disappointing subscriber growth. Netflix said the move by U.S. banks to replace hundreds of millions of credit and debit cards with new EMV chip-enabled cards this year has led to involuntary service cancellations as subscibers cards did not automatically renew when the new cards were issued.   It is estimated that 575 million new EMV chip cards are being issued to consumers in 2015*. Many of these new cards require updated account information to be collected by subscription or recurring businesses servicing the affected cardholders.  Although the cardholder’s account number may not change with the new card, the CVV and expiration date of the card most likely will change.

Do subscription type businesses that use Card-On-File need to be concerned they will also see increased declines?

Recurring and subscription billing merchants should be using Account Updater Services (as Netflix does) for updating new payment credentials. Over the past decade, the major card brands have introduced Account Updater services that allow merchants, via their processors, to submit card data on file to the networks for updating and correcting stale information. By utilizing these services merchants retain more customers and their customers enjoy uninterrupted service. Many payment platforms are now supporting this feature as a managed service to reduce the burden on the merchant of transmitting Card on file information to the processor.

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The Race For Mobile Payments Is Heating Up In Southeast Asia

Zhi-Ying Ng

My recently published report, “The Mobile Payment Opportunity In Southeast Asia,” finds that mobile payments are hot in Southeast Asia, with online and mobile-based purchases already exceeding tens of billions of dollars. Venture capital firms are also investing close to $75 million in mobile payments, drawn by a combination of factors including a booming digital content market, increase in online and mobile commerce and favorable government policies.

Well aware of the mobile payment opportunity, banks are scrambling to build their own mobile payment systems. But it’s not just financial institutions that are competing against each other to provide the best mobile payment services to their customers. Surging smartphone penetration in the region has created revenue opportunities for mobile operators, credit card networks and financial technology startups, all of which are also rapidly ramping up their mobile payment capabilities to stay competitive.

The brutal reality is that there is a high risk some of the banks’ mobile payment systems will fail. How then can banks ensure the success of their mobile payment systems?

eBusiness professionals need to keep up with the shifting landscape by understanding the market trends, usage scenarios, and local mobile payment options available to consumers. We recommend that banks incorporate three market dynamics into their mobile payment strategies:

  • User scenario for mobile payments varies across Southeast Asia. P2P payment growth in emerging markets differs from developed markets. We expect remittances to continue to spur P2P payment growth in emerging markets, and P2P payments will continue to account for a small share of transactions in developed markets.
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The Transition to EMV Presents New Opportunities for Mobile Payments

Brendan Miller
Merchant EMV hardware and software upgrades at the POS pave the road for additional contactless mobile payment transactions. Most new EMV POS hardware equipment also comes Near Field Communications (NFC) ready.  In timely fashion many new mobile payments types are hitting the market (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal) to take advantage of the new NFC/EMV payment acceptance hardware being installed in merchant locations.  This creates a new opportunity for both in-store and eCommerce merchants if leveraged appropriately.   
Tapping and paying with a mobile device removes the EMV experience friction points.   Tapping and paying with a mobile device is just as frictionless as swiping a card through a mag-stripe terminal. Consumers will find the NFC transaction more convenient than an EMV card transaction, which requires dipping it in an EMV terminal, waiting for it to read the card, remembering a PIN and then pulling it out of the reader.  Consumers will likely gravitate to the NFC simpler transaction process and become more habituated to using their mobile device to pay in-store.  Furthermore, as mobile payment providers move toward digitizing consumer loyalty credentials in-app will also help reduce additional check-out friction points.   
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New Fraud Targets: The Impacts of EMV Chip Card Migration Brings New Challenges

Brendan Miller
EMV chip card arrival to U.S. shores does not mean fraud is going away.  It will most likely shift to new channels and verticals post EMV implementation.  Past EMV transitions throughout the rest of the world have shown that EMV plays a big role in reducing in-store fraud.  Consequently, fraud flows to other channels such as Card-Not Present (CNP) environments where cards and users are more difficult to authenticate, as well as SMB in-store merchants where hardware and software has not been installed.  In this post we'll look at some of the impacts of EMV chip card migration in the U.S.
The U.S. will Most Likely See an Increase in eCommerce Fraud
 The U.K. saw an increase of 62 percent in card-not-present fraud after its implementation of EMV, as criminals shifted their efforts to other channels of least resistance*.  France, Canada and Australia all cite higher than 50% more instances of CNP fraud in the years following EMV implementation.  
  • Prepaid eGifts will become a particularly vulnerable fraud target.  Online gifts  require little information to send and receive, and as a result become a high-value target for fraudsters.  The growing trend of electronic gifting helps satisfy consumer demand for an instant product that is sent to anyone’s inbox around the world in seconds.  While physical gift card shipment usually takes a few hours or few days to process the merchant has time to verify the validity of the receiver.  Most fraud decisions about eGifting have to be made in real-time.  
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Merchants That Accept EMV Chip Cards Reduce Some Payment Risk, But Not All

Brendan Miller
Much has been written about the impacts of the recent U.S. October 1, 2015 Fraud Liability Shift milestone and the migration to chip cards.  Some retailers geared up for the fraud chargeback liability shift long before October 1st by upgrading POS software and hardware systems to accept the new EMV chip cards.  Most U.S. merchants are still sitting on the EMV sidelines and have not made the commitment to upgrade.  
When considering EMV acceptance upgrades retailers need to look at their total risk profile when it comes to fraud, security, and PCI Compliance.  The EMV chip card standard was developed as a way to minimize in-store fraud.  After October 1, 2015 card present merchants will be accepting more risk as transactions made with counterfeited EMV cards will now be the merchant's responsibility if it decides not to accept EMV chip technology at the POS.  The benefit of the investment in new payment system upgrades needs to outweigh the risk of fraud and customer perception for the merchant.    
Fraud and EMV in the Context of Risk
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Transforming the Role of Payments in the Digital Business

Brendan Miller
My mission at Forrester is to help ebusiness executives transform the role of payments from financial utility into an engine for customer engagement, revenue growth and improved customer experience.
A barrage of new innovation and business models are upending how consumers and businesses make and receive payments.  If merchants and businesses do not consider or implement these new innovations they risk losing customers and ultimately relevancy.  
Customer obsessed businesses can turn payments disruption into business advantage.  Success hinges on making technological and organizational shifts that turn the view of payments from customer transactions to an engine for customer growth.  
Businesses must consider the following challenges if they want to turn payments into customer advantage:
  • Embrace mobile and emerging payments
  • Gain more customer relevancy through collected payment data
  • Provide new tailored customer experiences and services based at point of purchase
  • Reduce risk and secure the shopping experience from data compromise and fraud 
  • Leverage payments for operational advantages
My role will be focused on how to make payments more operative and strategic through the lens of “Transforming the Customer Experience,” “Accelerating Your Digital Business,” “Embracing the Mobile Mind shift,” “Turning Data into Customer Insights.”  I look forward to expanding the aperture of these topics and working with you to transform the role of payments in your organization. 

Amazon's Dash Buttons: Smarter Than They Seem

Sucharita  Mulpuru

In late March, Amazon cracked up the Twittosphere with an  announcement that it would release a Dash button (not to be confused with the Amazon Dash device which is a wand for your kitchen).  It is a button that you put in your home (like your laundry room) and program to order a single packaged good (say a specific SKU of Tide detergent).  You press the button and that item gets ordered through your Amazon Prime account.  On September 2,  Amazon made the buttons available to the general public (Amazon Prime members specifically) for $5 each. 

My esteemed colleague James McQuivey just published a piece calling the Dash Buttons the Best Bad Idea of 2015 in which he outlines the reasons why this device, while widely  mocked, is actually a super interesting idea whose most fascinating applications won’t even be with Amazon.

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Beyond Language & Payments: Website Localization Must-Haves For Global eCommerce

Lily Varon

Long gone are the days in which eCommerce site localization means just translating language and accepting localized payment methods. In a high stakes environment, where a global roll out of direct localized sites can mean millions of dollars of investment, eBusiness professionals responsible for managing international customer-facing websites must localize effectively or risk damaging the reputation of their brands and stifling growth.

Forrester published a report today that outlines seven mission-critical areas to any website localization initiative. Among these imperatives are:

  • Consistent Domain Structures.  The best practice in a domain name strategy for a multinational company is to maintain a strong global brand by using the same domain strategy across the globe. There are four common URL strategies available to firms today: country code top-level domains or ccTLDs (e.g.,, subfolders (e.g.,, subdomains (e.g.,, and brand-level global top-level domains or gTLDs (e.g., annualreport.acme). The report provides detailed considerations for each domain convention.
  • SEO-optimized site content.  It is essential to make sure the website’s translated content is easily discoverable for consumers and is positioned to rank at the top of dominant local search engines. eBusiness leaders must understand search engine market share and local market semantics in order to come up on top.
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How Will You Communicate With Your Customers If They Don't Read Email?

Julie Ask

Your customers are inundated with messages every day from friends or family, work colleagues, and marketers among others. Notifications from their banks, news organizations and fitness bands also land on their mobile phones. Let me show you the home screen of my iPhone.

A summary of my communication (or lack thereof) shows:

  • 24,998 unread personal emails (okay, mostly from marketers)
  • 4,937 unopened work emails
  • 272 unopened SMS messages
  • 45 unopened/read messages on WeChat (these are from marketers)
  • 0 unread notifications from Facebook (and I average 23 per day)
  • 0 unread notifications from Slack (and I average 87 per day)



I still use all of these communication channels, but I pay more attention to some of the channels than to others.

Here’s what is happening:

  1. My email inbox has been overrun by emails I no longer read or want.
  2. I continue to download new communication applications. Each time I do so, I am very selective about who I add into my new circle.
  3. I pay most attention to those applications that offer value to me in the form of entertainment or as in the case of Slack, collaboration with a very small group of trusted colleagues. These messages are extremely relevant to me – and personal.
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European Cross-Channel Retail Sales Forecast, 2015 To 2020: Measuring The Influence Of Your Digital Assets Offline

Michelle Beeson

Europe's eBusiness professionals are increasingly focused on their digital presence, and with good reason. Digital touchpoints are feeding into almost every stage of the customer life-cycle. For many retailers over half of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, like smartphones - yet, smartphone conversion rates are considerably lower. Initially this may appear as a cause for concern. But Forrester’s updated European Cross-Channel Retail Sales Forecast sheds a different light on this phenomenon by quantifying the influence of digital touchpoints, including mobile, on overall sales, both online and offline.

eBusiness leaders must consider their digital assets as part of the whole customer-lifecycle, rather than simply channel by channel. Digital touchpoints have a significant influence beyond online sales. In fact, by 2020, Forrester forecasts that digital will influence 53% of total retail sales in EU-7, or €947 billion, including a combination of online sales and offline sales influenced by online research.

Key takeaways from the updated cross-channel retail sales forecast published today include:

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