At SAP’s Sapphire Now Conference, Bill McDermott, CEO of the company, asserted that digitization has changed business, explaining that the enterprise world “is now consumer-to-business, and the consumer rules,” as ITWeb Africa reported. Essentially, McDermott is pointing out what has been rather obvious in the past few years: Customers drive organizations, and pleasing them is a key to success.
For merchants, this means collecting data from consumers and using it to create strategies that will cater to them. However, in order to truly capture the attention of a customer, his or her experience with the brand needs to be optimal from beginning to end. Therefore, identifying pain points and clearing up those issues should remain a high priority, and in 2015, that focus should be on transactions. After all, what is worse than paying at the end of a sales process or shopping trip? This means having cutting-edge point-of-sale devices, as well as deploying backend payment processing systems to support those new technologies.
The rise of EMV
In fact, right now is the perfect time to rethink transactions. With technologies such as EMV and mobile payments on the horizon, accepting these new payment methods is a great way to remain competitive by pleasing consumers.
“63% of payment cards will contain EMV chips by the end of 2015.”
Getting on board with EMV technology should be a primary goal for merchants and retailers in 2015. The Payments Security Task Force presented a forecast based on research from eight of the U.S.’s top financial institutions, indicating that 63 percent of their credit and debit cards will contain EMV chips by the end of 2015. Furthermore, when 2017 comes to a close, 98 percent of payment cards will feature EMV technology.
By simply ignoring EMV, retailers will be refusing to serve a majority of their consumers, making EMV support a no brainer. Despite that, the PSTF reported that approximately 47 percent of U.S. merchant terminals will accept transactions via EMV chip by the end of 2015. This presents a unique opportunity for smaller retailers to get a leg up on the larger competition. With fewer PoS systems and terminals, EMV-capable devices can be deployed quicker.
However, implementing EMV technology support is not as easy as it sounds. According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 68 percent of businesses reported that moving to new payment systems puts the security of customer transactions at risk. This is compounded by the fact that just over half of respondents – 53 percent – believe EMV cards will decrease the chance of a data breach from occurring. Catering to the customers means supporting EMV as well as implementing the payment processing systems to protect them, and the same hold true for mobile payments.
Everyone goes mobile
A recent report from 451 Research found that 25 percent of smartphone owners plan to use mobile payment apps in the next 90 days, with 45 percent of those individuals preferring Apple Pay over PayPal and Google Wallet. The reasoning behind these impressive adoption rates likely have a lot to do with ease and convenience of those solutions, but only some consumers – 27 percent – believe that mobile payments are less secure than credit card-based transactions.
The dichotomy between perceived data protection security and actual customer data security could become an attack vector in itself, but at least most merchants recognize that new payment processing cybersecurity tools are required to conform with consumers’ demands for mobile payments. The Ponemon report noted that more than 50 percent of survey respondents think the use of mobile payments systems will increase the risk of experiencing a personal data security breach.
The problem is that 53 percent asserted that customer convenience is more important than personal data security. What these merchants should learn is that with cutting-edge payment processing solutions, there does not need to be a compromise. With the best tools in place, the method of payment does not matter. Instead, it is about protecting private information at all times.
Striking the balance
Data protection should never impact the customer experience. This means that merchants and retailers must provide support for EMV-based payment cards as well as mobile payment apps. To balance the cybersecurity risks, there are payment processing tools that encrypt data while it is at rest and in motion, ensuring PCI compliance and happy consumers.
If a retailer thinks it is difficult to find the best payment processing solutions or faces challenges when adhering to PCI DSS, it is always best to seek help. Preparing for a data breach with clean-up strategies is much different than solving security concerns proactively. Because this is a new space, payment industry professionals agree that cooperation is required. According to the Ponemon report, 85 percent of survey respondents stated that collaboration is critical to achieving a high level of security in the emerging payment ecosystem.