December 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Jelly Belly opts for transaction security of online PIN debit

Jelly Belly has joined several other merchants in letting shoppers pay online with a debit card and a PIN entered for transaction security.

Jelly Belly Candy Co., which sells through a chain of stores and two web sites, has joined several other merchants in letting shoppers pay online with a debit card and a PIN entered for transaction security.

Jason Marrone, Jelly Belly’s e-commerce manager, says the PaySecure debit card payment method from Acculynk offers the retailer a lower payment transaction fee than for credit card processing, and a high level of transaction security for its customers. “I’ve not seen anything else like this,” he says.

Marrone adds that the retailer and wholesaler of gourmet jelly beans and other candies has a lot of customers who use debit cards for payment transactions on JellyBelly.com, but until now they could only use them over bank card networks such as Visa and MasterCard.

In the offline world, debit cards are designed to process payments either through an electronic funds network that requires a personal identification number, or through a bank card network that requires a signature. But for online purchases without a payment method like PaySecure, a shopper paying with a debit card only has the option of using the bank networks, even though she can’t sign her name to a receipt. Like credit card transactions, debit card transactions carried over the bank networks incur higher transaction fees for merchants compared to PIN debit transactions.

Although he says it’s too soon to say how Jelly Belly’s online shoppers are taking to the PaySecure payment option, a spokeswoman for Acculynk says the company’s own research has found that half of shoppers who are presented with PaySecure as payment method opt to use it. She adds that PaySecure’s fees to merchants are 20-40% less than fees charged for non-PIN debit transactions.

Acculynk works with merchants and debit card issuing banks to present their logos on PaySecure applications in an effort to make shoppers feel more comfortable about using the payment method, she adds.

PaySecure uses AJAX web development technology to present a window that lets shoppers enter their PIN directly on an Acculynk web server without leaving the retailer’s checkout page, freeing the retailer from having to directly store and transmit PINs, Marrone says.

The PaySecure window presents the shopper with a mouse-activated keypad for entering a PIN, but instead of transacting the actual numbers of the customer’s PIN, it transmits the X and Y coordinates from the keypad to an Acculynk data security center, where Acculynk uses proprietary algorithms and international security standards to transmit the data to the card-issuing bank for processing. “Acculynk does not store any cardholder information,” the spokeswoman says.

The PaySecure system also is designed so that as it recognizes a debit card issuer’s bank identification number, it automatically shows a PIN keypad with that card’s issuer’s logo in the AJAX window.

For now, PaySecure works with debit cards from about 1,200 card-issuing banks whose cards can transmit payments over the ACCEL/Exchange, NYCE and Pulse electronic funds networks. Acculynk offers the PaySecure application through merchant acquirers, who offer it directly to the merchants for which they arrange payment processing.

Acculynk is currently working with two merchant acquirers, Elavon and Merchant e-Solutions, but it expects to begin working with Chase Paymentech in the first quarter of 2010 and is in discussions with several other merchant acquirers, Acculynk says.

The PaySecure application, which Acculynk launched in June, is also currently offered on five other e-commerce sites: ShoppersChoice.com, JJBuckley.com, 2Checkout.com, AceHardwareOutlet.com and AirTran.com, the spokeswoman says.

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