Credit card issuers moving further into the e-commerce market

In an effort to expand further into the online market, credit card issuers are racing to create more e-commerce offerings through retail sites to compete against intermediary services. MasterCard, Discover, Visa and American Express are all beginning to offer discounts for online consumers, fraud protection and more convenient international shopping options.

“The card companies have to make sure that they are relevant,” payment consultant Allen Weinberg told Direct Marketing News. “These guys are not oblivious to the fact that new entrants have taken a bite out of the purchase volume.”

Intermediary services, such as PayPal and Google Checkout, have gone from small start-up companies to major players in the commercial news market, according to the website. Visa has aggressively begun to market its e-commerce abilities by acquiring CyberSource, a fraud protection and payment gateway, earlier this year. American Express members can now use rewards points toward purchases made on Amazon.

Consumers are encouraged to look into the fraud protection their credit cards offer before making online purchases. Intermediary services provide shoppers with the option to make secure payments through free accounts linked to credit or debit cards.