Faster and Safer Money with Secure Remote Commerce

This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018.


Announced by Mastercard and Visa in November, 2017, Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) is a set of unified digital checkout specifications, representing an evolution of remote commerce that provides for secure and interoperable card acceptance. It enables a merchant to securely request and receive interoperable payment data used to process accepted cards in a remote commerce transaction.

In other words, consumers need not enter data over and over again at each point-of-sale where they conduct commerce. Streamlining the paying experience is fundamentally the philosophy behind SRC.

Removing Friction

The scheme involves merchants offering up a digital shopping application where consumers choose what they want and an SRC initiator, the payment service provider, initiates the payment. The card data is stored via a digital card facilitator.

Consequently, SRC creates a token that, through secure account information, can be pushed between parties. Beyond that, Rambus Payments CTO Chakib Bouda said that the rest of the transaction “just sits on standard rails” as the card information moves to the acquirer.

“If I lose my card, I just call the bank and the bank will push the update to the tokenization scheme,” says Bouda. “The majority of merchants don’t want to touch PCI data – the card information. What would happen, then, is they have to work with a Payment Service Provider (PSP) that would do that on their behalf. So, the changes will be done by the PSP…”

A streamlined process of pushing the update to the tokenization scheme significantly removes friction, as most instances with lost or expired cards involve a manual re-entry of data. As much as 75 percent of US cards can be tokenized, which speaks to the appeal of the specification building on EMVCo Tokenization standards.

Taking out the Buttons

Bouda told Karen Webster, CEO of in a podcast called “Beyond the Buzzword” that merchants have several methods of keeping cards on file, and there is already standardization in trying to keep data safe, through Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). However, the interfaces and interactions amid websites, browsers, and mobile apps still represent a fragmented landscape, which benefits no one.

“We’ve neglected the browser-based eCommerce, and now people are focusing a lot on it,” said Bouda. Interoperability between players in the ecosystem is key. Merchants also stand to benefit from it, with Bouda stating that the entire ecosystem is streamlined in terms of time and money, thanks to SRC’s platform-agnostic status.

He later went on to say that payment schemes seek to be ready with a full-fledged embrace of SRC through the next several months. “You are going to see a lot of activity in the second quarter” of next year, he says.

There are so many buttons, Bouda and Webster agreed in “Beyond the Buzzword,” that eCommerce can be discouraging and confusing. Bouda mentioned that there be less buttons, maybe even a single button, which would make the process easier. An example could involve the buttons consolidating into a drop-down function, making things easier for consumer to purchase things online.

“If SRC becomes successful, you’re going to see the incumbents participating as well,” says Bouda, mentioning PayPal and Stripe as examples.

The Bottom Line

SRC has the potential to change payments in a significant way. One major roadblock to digital payments involves friction, and with the introduction of a unified payment standard, removing the need to input the same data over and over again at each point-of-sale. Bouda and Webster agree in the “Beyond the Buzzword” podcast that there should be less “buttons” to press in order to make the process of online buying more convenient. Also, with the use of tokenization technology, payments will be more secure, with the consumer having a peace of mind that an update can be pushed to the tokenization scheme should they lose or misplace their card. With SRC, payments can be faster and safer.

Listen to the full podcast with Rambus’ Chakib Bouda and’s Karen Webster here.