What are three important challenges for e-commerce and e-payments in Turkey?
The fact that the buyer and the seller do not see one another in e-commerce can constitute a big obstacle, particularly for new brands. Cybersecurity is another big concern.
With that said, a few important steps have been taken in terms of security in the e-commerce world in Turkey. Digital signature and digital certificate concepts have been developed so that the two parties can be sure of each other’s identity. Security standards like SSL and SET are quite critical in terms of information security. E-commerce sites meeting these criteria can prove their reliability by receiving a trust seal.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the trust of the consumer, especially in the payment experience. For this reason, it is quite critical that e-commerce sites offer services with an infrastructure with BDDK license and PCI-DSS approval.
The Turkish tax system is based on physical assets. Therefore, qualities inherent in e-commerce, namely the difficulty of determining the actual location of the buyer and seller, can cause some problems.
E-commerce can also pose a problem in terms of Banking and Insurance Transaction Tax (BITT). As internet banking transactions are free of charge, these transactions are out of the scope of BITT. The fact that persons earning income through e-commerce prefer banks dealing in offshore banking can cause new problems in terms of BITT.
One of the problems encountered most frequently by e-commerce sites in Turkey are poorly managed shipping processes. As long delivery processes harm the brand loyalty of customers, delivery processes should be managed in coordination with reputable cargo and logistics providers. Informing customers on delayed deliveries and making up for mistakes with gifts or discount codes will always have a positive impact on customer loyalty.
What are three opportunities for Turkish e-commerce and e-payments looking ahead?
The aftermath of the pandemic
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on some sectors. However, it also created many opportunities. All procedures, protocols, relations needed to be re-evaluated, which revealed underlying weaknesses and has the stage for necessary improvements. The most concrete indication that the pandemic is an opportunity for the e-commerce world is the number of Turkish artisans who have started using e-commerce. The necessity of zero contact caused by the pandemic showed how we can focus more on next generation payment systems and ways of doing business, as a means of increasing financial inclusion.
Even though there is still significant progress to be made, the digital transformation of Turkish businesses and the public sector becomes more common with every passing day. Digitization of businesses acting as sellers has certainly had a positive impact on their status in e-commerce, and has led to more companies moving all of their processes to digital. Studies conducted by universities and research companies in Turkey have shown that retail is one of the sectors in the Turkish economy that is digitizing most rapidly.
In normal commercial relations, many factors help to establish the feeling of trust between buyer and seller in our subconscious – often before we even realize it. During the pandemic, when millions of new users have shopped online in Turkey for the first time, the experience of being able to do so in a safe and secure way has helped internet users in Turkey to establish a similar level of trust when it comes to e-commerce.
Over the last year, we can see that the Turkish population, who have a societal personality open to innovation, have adapted rapidly to online shopping and new payment methods.
Not leaving consumer security to the mercy of sellers, and securing the consumer by protecting them with important steps like secure data storage and payment, is a mission that helps to distinguish our approach here in Turkey as a provider of e-commerce payment technology.