In Depth

Retail, Payments Give Mutual Thanks

This week we take a closer look at some seasonal stories in retail security as the industry prepares to kick off the season that will account for as much as 20 percent of its sales. With this boom comes a unique set of security issues for the retail industry, both online and in-store. Here’s what the industry is talking about now as they prepare for the holiday rush to begin.


Surge In Seasonal Hiring

This holiday season, the retail industry is projected to add approximately 750,000+ jobs in the U.S. These seasonal employees play an important role in helping stores deliver on holiday services like in-store pickup, extended hours and keeping shelves well-stocked with in-demand items throughout the holiday rush.

USA Today recently reported on the 10 retailers making the most seasonal hires this holiday season. While these seasonal roles have historically been a pathway for full-time employment, this year, retailers will be drawing from a smaller pool of people looking for part-time seasonal work as unemployment numbers hover around 5 percent, the lowest in recent history.


Data Security And Shrinkage — And What Two Industries Can Learn From Each Other

…Maybe more than you think. A fascinating article from ITProPortal takes a look at how the retail industry curtails theft and offers tips that the payments industry can apply to itself.

Insights include being wary to chalk theft up to character — it’s actually more about opportunity. A recent U.K. survey found 35 percent of staff admitted that, given the chance, they would sell company data. Another piece of guidance: The biggest threat is internal, with nearly 36 percent of all data breaches in the U.K. involving employees directly. Last is the idea that people steal in the absence of a guardian, not necessarily for financial gain. The research found that 40 percent of retail theft in the U.K. is carried out by unsupervised management staff and security guards.

The article continues with more tips about how data security should seriously consider stealing from the retail industry’s playbook. And if you’re not already using these techniques in your retail business, it’s worth a read as well.


Lax Password Practices Leave Online Shoppers Vulnerable

In a recent survey that included 25 of the most popular online retailers, nearly 80 percent of websites fell short when it came to creating and storing secure passwords for their users.

The survey created scores for each retailer that ranged from -100 to +100, based on 22 criteria, with a score of +50 being the minimum safe password requirement. Apple, Target and Best Buy came out on top, with scores of 100, 85 and 75, respectively. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Amazon all came in near the bottom, with scores of -70, -65 and -44, respectively. Overall, 44 percent of sites reviewed in the survey received a negative score.

Dashlane CEO Emmanuel Schalit recently spoke to FedScoop, recommending passwords contain eight random characters, including a mix of capital and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and/or symbols, in order to be secure. “This complexity is what keeps hackers from easily guessing your password,” he says.

With nearly 50 percent of holiday shopping potentially occurring online this year, this could leave consumers vulnerable to data and payments theft.


Featured PYMNTS Study:

More than 63 percent of merchant service providers (MSPs) want to overhaul their core payment processing systems so they can up their value-added services (VAS) game. It’s tough, though, since many of these systems date back to the pre-digital era. In the January 2020 Optimizing Merchant Services Playbook, PYMNTS unpacks what 200 MSPs say is key to delivering the VAS agenda that is critical to their success.