Acculynk's PaySecure will soon allow China UnionPay debit cardholders to make online PIN purchases at U.S. merchant websites.

UnionPay International announced March 27 that Atlanta-based Acculynk Inc. will become a provider of UnionPay's e-commerce authentication service to merchants in the U.S.

UnionPay expects to incorporate Acculynk authentication during the third quarter of 2013.

That translates to more than 3.5 billion UnionPay cards available as potential business for merchants operating the online PIN debit process through PaySecure.
UnionPay cardholders represent a significant source of revenue potential for U.S. merchants because of the increase in Chinese tourism, which has created demand for UnionPay acceptance at airlines, cruise lines and entertainment venues.

"There is a lot of work involved in setting up UnionPay [for secure retail transactions in the U.S.], but Acculynk is now positioned well for those large retail verticals," says Acculynk CEO Ashish Bahl.

Acculynk currently serves 6,000 online merchants, with a goal of increasing that to 8,000 by the end of 2013 because of the expanded cardholder portfolio the UnionPay assignment will produce, Bahl says. "It's a very positive move for us on the acquiring side," he adds. "Merchants will see reduced costs of processing, elimination of fraud and a lift from international business."

UnionPay has been trying to get into the U.S. with an online payment method that merchants would accept, Bahl says.

Acculynk sent its merchant lists to UnionPay for marketing purposes, Bahl says. The lists include smaller merchants that Acculynk has served through its acquisition of PayLeap last year, Bahl adds.

China UnionPay also works with Planet Payment for card acceptance through U.S. and Canadian online merchants.

Acculynk allows consumers to use PIN-debit cards to make purchases online by integrating its PaySecure software into a merchant's online-checkout system. After a consumer enters a card number into a designated field, the system determines whether the card is eligible to be used with a PIN. The consumer has the option to complete the purchase as a signature-debit transaction or as PIN-debit.

With PIN debit, a virtual PIN pad appears on the screen, scrambling numbers as a safety precaution each time the consumer enters a digit. The issuing bank's brand also appears at checkout.

Acculynk offers customized online- and mobile-authentication technology that meets local and regulatory requirements in international markets. Country-specific authentication changes can be incorporated without disrupting the merchant or acquirer, Bahl says.

UnionPay's choice of Acculynk for card authentication illustrates the importance of protecting the e-commerce channel, says Mark Horwedel, CEO of the Merchant Advisory Group.

"This is a positive move for merchants because at least one major international card brand finally recognized the importance of protecting e-commerce and not just relying on merchants to devise their own means of protection," Horwedel says.

Nearly a year ago, Acculynk landed a significant overseas partnership to enable RuPay cardholders in India to make online PIN debit transactions.

In late 2011, Acculynk formed the International Internet PIN Acceptance Consortium to help promote PaySecure as the standard for international PIN debit online transactions.

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