Payments and security trends in 2018

In 2017, merchants saw a remarkable expansion of mobile payments and mcommerce. Equally, the growth rate of online shopping has not slowed down and it now accounts for the vast majority of all purchases.

The global payment system has become more diverse. These changes reflect consumer demand, make the market more competitive, bring innovation and benefit not only to users but also retailers who can expand their business activities accordingly.

On the other side of the coin, the rise in cyber fraud and data breaches has caused some headaches for corporations. Cyber criminals have been adopting ever-more sophisticated methods to break into companies’ systems. It stands to reason that in 2018, companies should designate more resources to security.

For the year ahead, Secure Trading looks at hot trends in payments and security to help merchants stay up to speed with the latest developments in the sector, whilst ensuring maximum consumer protection.

photo credit: Pixabay

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Being one of the most rapidly-expanding areas in tech, 2017 has been a big year for AI, and such developments are set to continue.

Machine learning can spur sales-supporting features that make shopping experience more personal and pleasant, such as personal shopping assistants and help services chatbots. It also offers merchants unique insights into customer preferences, allowing them to plan strategies more effectively.

Furthermore, AI features are being employed in security to detect fraudulent payment behavior patterns and flag suspicious activity.

Mobile wallets going global
A big hit in China, mobile wallets are increasingly penetrating the western market. Mobile wallets perfectly meet the demands for speed and convenience in payment procedures.

Research by Accenture showed that one quarter of consumers would use a digital wallet offered by a bank or non-bank third party, and ditch their current banking mobile app if they were able to put account data together in a mobile wallet.

Chinese giant Alipay has an estimated 520 million users support payments in 27 currencies across 30 countries. It is the perfect method for a population which takes many international trips, as well as frequently relocating to Europe and North America. “It allows Chinese consumers to spend with the method they are familiar with,” said Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America to Forbes.

Tailor-made security
As seen in the high number of breaches and ransomware cases in 2017, cybersecurity measures are imperative in the global hyper-connected payment market. Nevertheless, sophisticated cyber-attacks require first-class cyber defenses.

It is necessary for companies to develop a customised approach to their cybersecurity in order to create solutions appropriate to the type of information they handle and the platform they rely on. To protect themselves and their customers, every business needs to create a security plan which take into account company size, budget, infrastructure and complexity.

Social media payments

photo credit: Pixabay

“There’s definitely a trend towards mobile payments moving into social media,” said Charlotte Crosswell, from Innovate Finance – an organisation representing the UK’s global financial technology community – to the BBC.

Facebook Messenger Payment landed in the UK in late 2017, and promises to become popular because of its convenience. Friends splitting a dinner or taxi ride can now settle their bills through the Facebook payment service, eliminating the need for bank transfers. To ensure security and prevent fraud, transactions have a limit of £2,500 and are protected by PINs.

Codes instead of cards
With the rise of the Internet of Things, payments will become more automated. Wearable devices and connected home devices are set to become increasingly popular, embedding the shopping experience deeply into people’s personal lives.

Intelligent personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, for example, are evolving to be able to respond to a vast array of commands, including making purchases.

Dealing with such sensitive data gives merchants precious insights into consumers’ needs and wants but it is important to remember the augmented risks of data breaches. Customer sensitive information needs to be handled following strict guidelines to ensure maximum security. Otherwise, companies and retailers are vulnerable to hefty fines.

For further advice on managing and processing online payments, security solutions or to discuss your specific requirements for online payment processing, contact our team: Call +44 (0)808 159 7217 or email [email protected]