Three strikes and you’re out: justice ministry gets tough on webshops

The Dutch justice ministry is planning to give more powers to banks and payment systems to block webshops which rip off customers, the AD said on Monday.

Once three police complaints have been made about an online retailer, banks and payment processing companies will be alerted so they can halt payments to the webshop, the newspaper said.

The new approach will allow the payment processors to block suspect webshop payments without a formal police investigation. So far, 12 payment processors, including Ideal, have signed up for the alerts.




Some 50% of online purchases in the Netherlands are made by Ideal and some 45,000 webshops offer its services as a payment option.

Webshopping lobby group Thuiswinkel.org said it welcomed the news. ‘We have called for a plan to tackle suspect webshops for some time,’ spokesman Wijnand Jongen told the paper.

‘Until now, no-one would make the link if police reports were made in Limburg, Groningen and Zeeland.’ However, officials must be sure that webshops are not being targeted unfairly or are victims of a hate campaign, he said.

Dutch online auction site Marktplaats.nl said at the weekend it is launching a new service for customers who are worried that they are being ripped off. For 2% of the purchase price, Marktplaats will keep payments made via Ideal until customers confirm that the delivery has been made.