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Posted September 23, 2020 by FreedomPay

Top 2020 Trends in Financial Technology

Named one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020, Courtney Kelly Peters has positioned herself as a key influencer in the fintech space. Her ability to cultivate partnerships, opportunities, strategic relationships and innovative thinking continues to set her apart.

Courtney, Director of Business Development at FreedomPay, shares her thoughts on the leading fintech trends of 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19.

Touchless Commerce

Enabling an efficient, almost invisible interaction with consumers has been top of mind for merchants and consumers alike. With the sudden social and economic impacts of COVID-19, there was an immediate need to understand how to continue to drive revenue through new channels that were not previously prioritized such as eCommerce, or to reinvent the in-store checkout experience.

A successful eCommerce channel is important now more than ever. As the initial impact of COVID-19 has subsided, increased functionality as it relates to ecommerce platforms has opened up the discussion for most verticals.

Businesses are taking advantage of various new Touchless Commerce technologies to best serve the consumer. Virtual kiosks allow for order and payment right in the palm of your hand has helped to keep revenue flowing while providing a sense of safety and security during the pandemic.

Alternative payment types such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo and more allow the customer to easily convert cart to purchase with the payment type of their preference.

When shopping in store, more and more merchants in the US are looking to offer a completely touchless payment experience. Digital wallets are further gaining traction as well as QR-based payments that can be completed swiftly and securely right from your own device.

Business Intelligence

The payments ecosystem has been forced to evolve quickly over the past 6-12 months. There have been major shifts in consumer buying trends that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the associated technologies that support them.

Now more than ever, insight into who customers are and what they are purchasing is at heightened importance but appears to be quite fragmented when merchant look at an entire enterprise. With multiple commerce channels driving revenue potential, there is a growing lack of consumer insight into the full consumer journey.

A fully integrated Business Intelligence tool is key to data success. Merchants can now have a holistic view of the consumer journey, whether purchasing in-store or online. With the aggregation of data, a strong Business Intelligence tool can produce actionable insights at the press of a button – allowing merchants to push discounts and incentives at the point of purchase and much more.

While COVID-19 has been devastating to businesses across the globe, it has encouraged merchants to upgrade their technology to better meet the demands of the modern-day consumer. I expect to see continued innovation in the fintech space driven by advanced technology to facilitate a frictionless, safe and secure consumer experience.

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Posted September 08, 2020 by FreedomPay

Struggling to Get Executive Buy-In for Business Intelligence? Five Ways to Get the C-Suite on Your Side

Here are 5 ways to convince stakeholders of Business Intelligence benefits

Securing C-level commitment for tech-investment is always a challenge. Strategic priorities, like business intelligence often get pushed off the board agenda by short-term challenges and stakeholder pain-points.

In some cases, it is simply hard to make them understand the competitive advantages of business intelligence. It is not a new IT-fad, the icing on their ‘digital-transformation-cake’, or a ‘nice to have’.  Instead it is now a critical requirement for all businesses that want to respond quickly to change – a prerequisite for survival in a post COVID-19 world. 

In fact, the right business intelligence solution can not only make businesses more successful but can also provide the insight they need to make many of the board’s operational headaches disappear.

What’s preventing the C-suite seeing business intelligence potential?

It may simply be a case of baggage – especially if they have had a bad business intelligence experience in their current role or in a previous organization. They may be anxious about poor ROI, failure to meet expectation, lack of in-house expertise, or creaking legacy systems. Perhaps the company already has a business intelligence system, but it may be outdated and with limited functionality.

They may also be unaware of current business intelligence advancements. These days, next level business intelligence solutions offer near real-time intelligence and rapid return on investment. Deployment over-the-cloud is fast and simple and integrated dashboards and tools make them easier to use and link to martech, finance and logistics.

So how do you shift the decision-maker mindset and build a winning case for business intelligence?

Here are five ways to bring business intelligence benefits to life:

1. Paint a new reality
Start by showing the board what a new, truly data-driven future looks like – and remind them that other organizations are already there. Then explain why your legacy platform simply can’t match this new ambition. Make it clear it is about taking the huge amounts of real-time data (SKU-level data) they already have and making it work even harder.

2. Fast-forward expectation
Old legacy business intelligence systems processed data in batches, so intelligence was historic. With a real-time business intelligence platform, you can move the clock forward and start making decisions based on real-time data. Ask your C-team if they are happy knowing what customers, resources and stock were like yesterday when they could see how things are across their operations, right now, today?

3. Secure a smooth business intelligence partner
Reduce decision-friction by making the business intelligence journey as smooth as possible. That means making sure you choose a partner with the expertise to set KPI, SLAs and ROI right from the start. They can help minimize disruption, optimize return and provide a migration path that lets you wrap around all your existing technology stacks (Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing etc.), and integrate third party data as well.

4. Create compelling use cases
Focus on areas that are important for your business and are already on the management agenda. Whether that’s getting customers to choose short-life or high-volume stock items, encouraging upselling, reducing queues and walk-aways, enabling in-the-moment personalized push-offers, keeping track of partner franchise operations, spotting fraudsters faster, or building feedback loops to support better product development. There is a myriad of ways to highlight the value of a new business intelligence system – just make sure they’re relevant! 

5. Show it is easy to get and share
Finally, illustrate how easy it is to get from ‘theory’ to ‘reality’. And emphasize that their buy-in and commitment is the first step to get there. Reassure them by demonstrating the dashboards, customizable fields and automated reports that help them dig deep into their business – across channels, locations, partners, and parameters. Let them see how easy it is to get the exact information they need and to share it with others.

To discover more about bringing the benefits of business intelligence to life for your C-suite, download our latest whitepaper: How to Unify Commerce Data into Actionable Next Level Business Intelligence

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Posted August 19, 2020 by FreedomPay

Colleges and Universities Welcome Back Students with Touchless Commerce

Colleges and Universities are beginning to welcome students back to campus. Now, more than ever, safety is a top priority. While most top colleges and universities are outfitting their classrooms, dining halls, bookstores and stadiums to accommodate social distancing, many are going a step further by updating outdated commerce technology to vastly improve the safety of the ordering and checkout experience.

Student on campus

With this in mind, FreedomPay is partnering with top fintech service providers and ISV’s to introduce its Touchless Commerce program. The program helps merchants identify solutions that minimize contact during the checkout process. Touchless Commerce solutions provide colleges and universities with a payment experience that is both safe and secure; and may include the use of contactless cards, mobile apps, Apple Pay, Google Pay, eCommerce, and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

Additionally, FreedomPay provides merchants with the ability to promote touchless payment acceptance right on the device screen. This encourages adoption and underscores a commitment to safety, as students and faculty don’t have to physically press any buttons or swipe a card in order to pay, reducing potential harmful exposure to COVID-19.

North Carolina State University is taking their commerce solutions and campus safety to the Next Level with FreedomPay’s Touchless Commerce program. Students and faculty making purchases at NC State will be instantly presented with contactless payment acceptance messaging right at the point of sale, encouraging a safer, and swifter, way to pay.

“NC State is looking forward to welcoming students back to campus, but with that comes the responsibility of keeping our students and faculty safe,” said Chris Dunham, Systems Administrator at North Carolina State University. “With FreedomPay’s Touchless Commerce program, students can pay safely through a series of touchless and contactless methods and will also be reminded of these options right at the point of payment.”

Contact us to learn how introducing Touchless Commerce can take you to the safer Next Level.

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Posted July 22, 2020 by FreedomPay

Business Intelligence: Actionable Commerce Data

Why millions of merchants fail to manage and optimize their Business Intelligence

1. Stay on top of customer demands

With enhanced Business Intelligence and smarter understanding of transaction-level data, merchants can improve their visibility of product cycles. This is essential for reducing waste, streamlining business operations and reducing costs. Enabling smarter business intelligence is a great way to boost profitability without impacting service quality or user choice.

In today’s world advanced machine learning and modern tech is emerging to make understanding customer demands in near real-time easier. This revolution in Business Intelligence means that management and optimization of data will become second nature; it will be simple, just plug-in and play.

It will have a profound effect on strategic business decisions and for the end user.

2. Why should businesses boost promotion and cross-selling

Product-level insight enables businesses to improve market basket analysis and unlock previously unseen cross-selling opportunities. It is also more straightforward to analyse the impact of promotions and loyalty incentives more effectively. The results will predict and influence future behavior.

3. What can merchants do to exploit near real-time data to keep ahead of competitors

With near real-time data on products and stock units, businesses can also flag important trends as they happen. It suddenly becomes a lot easier to initiate a fast response to optimise an opportunity. Overall predictive services will be more accurate, and the business can operate initiatives like dynamic pricing strategies more effectively.

4. Build Business Intelligence feedback loops to support product development

Transaction-powered Business Intelligence that’s full of stock-keeping unit data gives businesses better visibility of factors like product performance, trends, and insights. With this kind of understanding, businesses can manage and market product offerings based on greater insights. They can also develop new products, create new product bundles and ultimately generate sharp uplifts in revenue. But surprisingly 87% of companies do not have business intelligence capabilities and tools.

5. Capture unexpected events and prevent fraud

Near real-time transactional data doesn’t just help businesses establish patterns for ‘typical’ behavior or product demand cycles. It also helps spot unexpected events, making it much easier to identify fraudulent activity. Equally, this capability can be used to catch and react quickly to a sudden spike in demand.

6. Learn how to explore fresh outlooks with third-party data

Finally, you can also synchronize your transactional data with other third-party data to achieve richer and contextualized analysis. Businesses can overlay transactional data with a third-party weather app to find out if the weather is triggering sales behaviors. Ultimately, you can use this kind of analysis to predict demand, drive seasonal promotion campaigns, and achieve a new level of profitability and efficiency.

To talk about how Business Intelligence can be used for your enterprise, or to discover more about Next Level Commerce™ click here.  

Business Intelligence Solution with transactional data report

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Posted May 21, 2020 by FreedomPay

How to Protect Your Customers with Touchless Commerce

As global consumers are changing their daily behaviors to adhere to social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, businesses, too, are being forced to reimagine operations and change how they reach and sell to their customer base. This unprecedented crisis has created major changes in the way we buy and sell goods, and for many merchants and customers, this means technology innovation is now a priority.

Businesses, especially fine dining and quick service restaurants have shifted gears quickly to ensure they are meeting the needs of their valued customers. Many restaurants are now taking advantage of Touchless Commerce, offering mobile ordering and pickup options to eliminate contact but also streamline delivery and service times.

To make the process even more frictionless, restaurants are implementing, and recommending, the use of contactless payments when placing a pickup or delivery order. Portable payment terminals can accept payment curbside safely and securely, allowing customers to complete payment by accessing digital wallets on their smart phones or tap their contactless card.

Mobile and eCommerce transactions enable the same swiftness and ease, with a customized, uninterrupted checkout flow that can be made quick and seamless by enabling digital wallets. Undoubtedly, contactless, mobile, and eCommerce payments provide vast benefits to the customer including convenience, flexibility, and top-notch security.

In just a matter of weeks, the effects of COVID-19 have forced businesses and restaurants to re-evaluate in-house operations and digitally transform to meet their customer’s needs. With the buying and selling of goods and services happening predominantly online to promote social distancing practices, we have quickly become a marketplace powered by eCommerce. But what are the long-term social implications of these practices? Will online purchasing and mobile payments become our new standard of shopping and dining? How will businesses respond to the explosion of online living?

As we pivot to a highly tech-focused consumer world, the push to order and pay online or through mobile has become engrained in our daily activity. It is anticipated that in a post- COVID-19 world businesses will continue to supplement their daily operations with fast and frictionless payment technology. The opportunities in promoting a consumer-centric experience driven by technology are untapped and this is just the beginning!

Read the original article here.

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Posted January 30, 2020 by FreedomPay

What Does the Future Hold for Self-Service Kiosks?

Kiosks can be used in more places and do much more than ever before – from fast food ordering in restaurants (e.g. McDonald’s) to integrated transport and entertainment ticketing.

Devices are now more robust and resilient and, as a result, are popping up in more locations. Kiosks are now being developed as hyper-efficient, with low energy requirements and instant sleep/wake up modes, some even offer solar-powered options that allow them to operate off-grid.

Kiosks come in all shapes and size too, with a whole raft of integrated features and functionality including touch screens, full-color displays, multimedia, voice activation and more. The one common capability they share, however, is that they can accept payment whether it be by card, contactless, and even by mobile.

Technology is reimagining unattended payments

Kiosks will have to work harder to deliver what modern retailers need (new revenue opportunity) and what consumers want (even more convenience). Luckily the technology needed to facilitate this is already here.

We now have internet-enabled kiosks, supported by managed platforms and run from integrated connected gateways, using cloud-based services. These are opening new opportunities and functionality for kiosks. Here’s a taster of what’s in store:

• Tokenization will play a star role

Kiosk owners need ways of letting customers feel in control of their experience but still being able to ‘connect’ with them. Increasingly, tokens will be used to customize the consumer’s journey and encourage uplift in sales by pushing real-time promotions and loyalty incentives.

• Kiosks will power cross-brand/location marketing

By using payment gateways to pick up tokens, retailers will be able to follow consumers outside their own channels and across multiple-brand journeys, creating ‘bundled’ experiences. For instance, a car park ticketing machine could alert nearby retailers and restaurants when a visitor arrives so that they can send an automated email, text or proximity alert for local offers and promotions to their mobile phone.

• Connected platforms will deliver hybrid virtual/physical services

Self-service installations will increasingly be used to straddle digital and physical worlds and provide hybrid services. Internet connectivity and touch screens allow users to browse inventory as well as order, pay, and redeem available rewards. Add-on devices and AI could be used to enhance the consumer’s experience, for instance, virtual mirrors for fashion and cosmetics.

• Smart kiosks will respond to real-time shopping patterns

Connected installations mean that data, software, and updates can be delivered to kiosks remotely, enabling retailers to be more in control and responsive to customer needs. With insights from kiosk-generated real-time reports, retailers can customize services remotely by switching functionality on and off and adding new features to reflect local trends, seasonal patterns, special events, etc.

• New self-serve ecosystems will embrace third party content and apps

There’s a real opportunity for kiosks to deliver multi-brand services making them important new revenue streams for their owners. Third-party content and advertising can already be enabled by platforms such as FreedomPay’s DecisionPoint Network (DPN). With new commerce platforms, providing separate environments for coding, testing and experimenting with external apps, we could soon see kiosks enriched with customer-facing services – e.g. concierge, curators, maps and travel guides.

Thanks to new platforms and technologies, it’s clear that kiosks now have the potential to become an integral part of the omnichannel sales experience and an important gateway to the new collaborative digital service ecosystem of the future.

 

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Posted January 24, 2020 by FreedomPay

Navigating the Payment Gateway Ecosystem

We live in an open world – open for choice, collaboration, and opportunity. Being open involves connecting and networking in new ways and in the context of the retail environment, that means building and growing new ecosystems.

While most are familiar with the ecosystems that already exist between retailers, acquirers, and banks, a new set of digital and cloud-based ecosystems continue to emerge that delivers a plethora of next-generation, value-added services straight to the point of sale (POS) or online checkout. At the heart of this is the commerce and payment gateways that act as central hubs, linking the various data flows and platforms within expanding retail ecosystems.

It’s time to rethink gateways.

The concept of the commerce gateway as a doorway to an exciting ‘plug and play’ service playground is still new to many retailers. To help them navigate their way through the complexity, we’ve put together a quick guide to help them understand the changing role of the payment gateway in facilitating these new ecosystems:

 

  • Expanding portfolio of APIs and Toolkits

Gateways now offer powerful APIs that allow merchants to connect with thousands of third party scripts and shopping carts while also aiding the development of new applications through toolkits and plug-ins, developer portals and sandpits. With these added APIs, retailers can create their own subscription services, on-demand marketplaces, or even crowdfunding platforms using a range of development languages, including Ruby, Python, PHP, and Java. Some gateways will also support hundreds of currencies and offer features such as mobile payments, subscription billing, and one-click checkout.

 

  • Fast to market plug-and-play marketplaces

Payment gateways are increasingly offering access to their own pre-built app marketplaces – packed with third party offerings that can be used to enrich retailers’ checkouts – from loyalty gamification and e-charity donations to bill splitting and currency conversion. These can dramatically reduce the time to market of launching new POS services, allowing merchants to browse, choose and deploy apps instantly, or remove them, as consumer and market needs dictate. In this way, they can try-out, evaluate and opt for the best service apps for their audiences without committing to long-term lock-in.

 

  • Secure access and sharing

Modern commerce platforms can separate out payment transactions from service platforms, to ensure that sensitive payment data is never compromised within the ecosystem. Equally important is their ability to deliver multiple user support and logins so that service teams and other business functions (including accounts and compliance) can access reports and specifically authorized features. It goes without saying that these also ensure a visible audit trail that links specific actions to authorized users. In addition, gateways can also provide custom security settings as well as anti-fraud capabilities to ensure that the transaction path is secure at all times, protecting against fines, fees, and chargebacks.

 

  • Tracking complex customer journeys

To aid targeting, personalization and more effective loyalty incentives, offers and promotions, it makes sense to be able to track customers and their journeys across retail ecosystems – between brands, channels, and locations. The gateway can aid this using tokenization, to ‘follow’ the customer through various journeys by allowing payment methods to be linked to transaction activity. Through data anonymization, information such as what, when, where, and how purchases and interactions were made can be shared across functions and brands within the ecosystem, without compromising sensitive cardholder or payment data.

 

  • Relationships must be reengineered, too

From Alibaba and Amazon, the development of the retail marketplace as an aggregated website is reshaping the global definition of the retailer and the sales ecosystem. Brands are now squeezing their way in between retailers and their customers, particularly in new e-marketplaces inclusive of review sites and comparison sites, payment providers, loyalty apps, returns companies, influencers, and social media.

 

Retailers can’t afford to wait for the customer to be ready to purchase their product, they need to get closer to them before they decide to buy. Owning or running a commerce gateway allows retailers to build their own ecosystems that put customers’ desires and needs first by enabling them to find new ways to interact (content marketing, geolocation and push services) and to personalize experiences.

Check out our blogs on DPN, tokenization and business intelligence for more ideas on how to fast-track to success!

 

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Posted January 22, 2020 by FreedomPay

Top 5 Challenges Facing Retail CTOs in 2020

Retailers are embracing a range of disruptive technologies that are set to fundamentally change the way they interact with and service their customers.

But what does this mean for the executives running the operations behind the scenes?  How are they coping with the pace of change and what are the challenges that will impact their IT strategies in the months ahead?

As we continue working closely with CTOs in leading retail and hospitality brands, we’ve put together some of the topline issues they’ll be wrestling with in 2020:

Legacy management and smashing silos

Mobile, cloud services, big data, analytics, and social media rank highest among the technologies that CTOs see as transforming retail from the way we know it. Yet for many, leveraging these trends is a tricky proposition. How best to maintain availability while adding functionality to existing legacy systems (which may already be creaking at the seams) impacts many of their waking decisions. (Read our Welcome to Hospitality 2020+ white paper here).

In 2020, they’ll continue to seek solutions that help them surround and expand their existing assets using Open APIs and toolkits to integrate wherever they can. They’ll also be looking to free up data flows, connecting business functions in order to break down data silos (e.g. CRM, ERP, Web analytics) and deliver a 360 view of the customer to decision-makers and planners.

Optimizing resources and changing cultures

In too many cases, retail and hospitality IT agendas are hampered by a lack of key resources and business alignment – skills, people, budget, infrastructure.

The focus is often on fueling functional cost savings rather than driving business growth and sourcing innovation. Retail CTOs will need to get out of the back office and lead the innovation agenda if they want to secure the resources they need the dynamic new world of retail.

CTOs must focus their teams on innovating and differentiating the customer experience. Cloud solutions and integrated com

merce platforms will be a major enabler of retail transformation, allowing CTOs to more effectively leverage commodity technology and processes while dedicating valuable internal resources to driving deeper business and customer engagement.

 

 

Building better customer UX (without blowing the budget)

As everyone involved in innovation knows, it’s often the invisible assets that are hardest to deliver. There’s now more pressure than ever on CTOs to enable marketing and acquisition teams to attract and engage consumers – either through faster, responsive and more personalized online interactions, or by helping to create more exciting and inspiring experiences in store at the point of sale (POS). CTOs are being positioned to deliver bigger, better, faster, cheaper platforms – and with less liability too.

Protecting data and reputation

Fraud is the challenge that never goes away. The more channels, payment types, and services a retailer offers, the harder CTOs must work to ensure that payment and data chains are locked down.  Retail Fraud is running at 30%, with merchants now paying $3 for every dollar lost. Faced with chargebacks, fines, and loss of reputation, the heat is on for CTOs to keep their business, management teams and customers better protected.

It’s not just about implementing more fraud prevention solutions, CTOs must select the right combination and layering of core, identity and fraud transaction solutions to defend against increasingly sophisticated threats. To ease the burden, ever more CTOs will choose to outsource risk, investing in payments as a service (SaaS) platforms to shift liability onto their provider and remove their own infrastructure from scope.

Dealing with compliance and ‘the domino effect’

Managing data comes with a minefield of rules including those that can be state-based (e.g. California’s AB375 consumer privacy act), international (e.g. GDPR data protection regulations), payment-related (e.g. PCI DSS), or for anti-fraud (PSD2’s Secure Customer Authentication (SCA). Additionally, these legislations don’t include POS certifications and card issuer mandates that are required to avoid fees and chargebacks.

So much regulatory change creates a domino effect that triggers time and effort –  keeping legacy systems and processes up to date, continuous auditing, reporting, and training – has become a major burden for tech-heavy retailers. Finding new ways to reduce risk and ease the burden, through cloud-outsourcing, payment gateways, encryption, and tokenization is becoming a strategic imperative for CTOs. Even the smallest businesses are now investing in security and compliance specialists to help support them.

Of course, these challenges are just the tip of the iceberg for retail CTOs.  According to Gartner, in 2019, retailers’ investment in technology is expected to grow 3.6%, hitting $203.6 billion over the course of the year. In 2020, much of the focus for CTOs will be in bedding in new assets and systems and ensuring they deliver a positive return on investment (which will mean even more scrutiny by their boards).

With as much change in front as behind them, there’s a long road ahead, but with the right technology and payments partners, they can spread the effort and lighten the load.

 

 

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Posted January 20, 2020 by FreedomPay

Top 5 Payment Security Trends in 2020

Fraud is on the rise. With deep pockets and creative minds, fraudsters and cybercriminals are becoming increasingly organized, sophisticated, and focused on the low hanging fruit that exists within the retail space.

The security playbook has widened, and now includes EMV, PCI DSS, and point-to-point encryption (P2PE), with new regulations such as PSD2’S SCA tightening up vulnerabilities. In addition, robust anti-fraud solutions are now part of most card acceptance POS and payment gateways.

As the data protection battle continues, there are some strong security patterns emerging:

• CNP payment fraud will continue to rise and fraudsters will get increasingly sophisticated

Squeezed out of the traditional payment chain, criminals are increasingly targeting remote Customer Not Present (CNP) transactions where shoppers’ data is especially vulnerable.
According to Juniper Research, online payment fraud will top $22 billion this year—and could reach $48 billion by 2023. Fraudulent attacks are becoming more sophisticated using tactics such as phishing, ID theft, pagejacking, wire scams, and merchant ID fraud. In 2020, watch out for ‘imposter bots’ that exploit the growth of AI-driven chatbots for online customer support to draw out payment details and other sensitive information from established retail websites.

• Tokenization will become more widespread as merchants seek to secure the payment chain while delivering more personalized and connected services (including IoT)

Tokenization replaces sensitive payment data with a randomly generated token that lets their transaction be tracked and their ‘footprint’ remembered making it ideal for CRM, loyalty and personalized promotions. The merchant does not touch, or store payment data and fraudsters can’t reverse the token to access account details. By 2020 it’s expected that there will be 20 billion IoT devices, a proportion of these will no doubt facilitate transactions too, creating a whole new window of opportunity for fraudsters. Tokens can be used across all channels and can even facilitate transactions between devices in IoT environments.

 

 

• New forms of authentication will emerge fueled by PSD2’s SCA requirement which comes into effect in 2019 (EU) and 2020 (UK)

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) will soon become essential for retailers in order to ensure compliance with PSD2. Each transaction will require two different types of authentication taken from three criteria (something you own, something you know and something unique to you). With a physical card and a PIN, EMV already meets the criteria. However, for CNP and online transactions, it’s not so easy, with extra passwords and registrations increasing friction and possibly dropped sales at the checkout. To prevent this, merchants may turn to ‘customer-familiar’ smartphones and biometrics to ease the process. They will be supported by the likes of MasterCard, who are already championing biometric authentication.

• Anti-fraud solutions will deliver better security decisions with less friction for legitimate buyers

Advanced, risk-based decision-making for e-commerce will help to reduce CNP fraud using updated standards from EMV 3D-Secure. Examining 10 times more risk factors than before to help decide whether step-up authentication is required. In addition, companies that facilitate digital payments will likely layer 3D-Secure with other advanced analytics technologies like artificial intelligence, to help analyze for fraud. Across retail, self-learning neural models will be used to automatically spot patterns much more swiftly. They will also enable closer rules setting and customization – essential for peak periods such as Black Friday – to minimize false declines and reduce the incidence of chargebacks.

• Merchants will have to tighten up their processes – whether mandated or not

It’s not possible for technology alone to fully eliminate retail fraud, especially for online stores. Like all hi-tech environments, people, and processes are often the source of inadvertent breaches. Retailers will have to continually update network security systems including firewalls and antivirus software, train staff and maintain audits to keep their defences high and information safe. Expect to see more security specialists employed full-time, even within smaller merchant organizations.

• Security will become a core differentiator for selecting a payment service provider

Businesses will be more proactive in their cybersecurity strategies when it comes to protecting the consumer. As senior execs and boards are increasingly held accountable, security is moving beyond a simple compliance tick-box towards a real corporate imperative supported by organisational wide procedural frameworks. Reflecting on this, security will become a critical differentiator ahead of reliability and costs for merchants seeking payment partners and providers.

While there are a plethora of security add-ons and antifraud software available, merchants shouldn’t forget the basics. This includes maintaining awareness of the latest fraud regulation and ensuring systems (and those of providers) are verified and compliant with all the latest standards; specifying PCI point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization for all payment platforms.

With GDPR necessitating clear policies for storing and handling ‘all’ customer data and the reporting of data breaches, retailers must make sure the right processes and training are in place to support these too.

If in doubt, payment partners such as FreedomPay, are often first to spot new security trends and can provide practical support and guidance to help keep businesses and their customers safe.

 

 

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