Driven by COVID-19 fears and stampeding online, consumers overwhelmed many businesses in 2020 that were unprepared for drastic, sudden eCommerce volume. That picture has brightened somewhat as summer begins, but things are far from settled in the digital domain.
The PYMNTS Merchants Guide To Navigating Global Payments Regulations, done in collaboration with Ekata, examines rapidly changing developments in digital payments at a time when cybercrime — and identity scams particularly — are going hard on legitimate businesses. And it’s a double-whammy for firms, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as they are very much on the hook for data security.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more consumers to make their day-to-day transactions online. Enabling consumers to shop and pay online has meant that SMBs must accept emerging payment methods, such as contactless payments or mobile wallets,” the Guide states. “Complying with a fragmented regulatory landscape has led to frustration among SMBs in the EU, the U.K. and the U.S., especially when it comes to enabling seamless payment experiences.”
Solving for data compliance while reinventing with new digital tools is just one of the key themes found in the June 2020 Merchants Guide To Navigating Global Payments Regulations.
New Behaviors, Same Regulations
While the latest Merchants Guide To Navigating Global Payments Regulations delves into open banking and how European Union (EU) data privacy rules have been temporarily eased due to the pandemic, compliance hasn’t gone away. And it’s getting more complex, not less.
“Keeping up with customers’ shifting behaviors and preferences amid changing regulations is a familiar challenge for today’s SMBs, but the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the scale of digital payments has steepened the learning curve for these merchants,” according the June Guide.
“SMBs around the globe are dealing with an unprecedented surge in online payment volumes as consumers eschew in-store payments for eCommerce transactions that lack the risks of in-person contact. One study found that card-not-present (CNP) transactions rose 29.7 percent from the week of March 2 to the week of June 1, for example, and another recent report revealed that 40 percent of consumers are conducting more day-to-day transactions online.”
Identity verification platforms using a variety of approaches from biometrics to trusted global networks are helping SMBs as well as enterprises avoid data snags in the midst of the rush.
Contactless, Meet Compliance
Unified platforms are simplifying the compliance burden, as are the built-in payment options that generate valuable transparency into consumer spending patterns.
Contactless payments have gained wide adoption during the pandemic — a breakthrough for underutilized payments methods like mobile wallets — and organized platform data reduces human error, speeds processing time and keeps regulators at bay.
“The U.S. does not currently have a regulatory equivalent [of SCA] that can assist SMBs in navigating these payment shifts, even as 57 percent of American consumers in a recent survey stated that they would be more comfortable using contactless or mobile wallet methods for their daily transactions now than they were before the pandemic,” per the latest Merchants Guide To Navigating Global Payments Regulations.
“This indicates that contactless payment methods are gaining ground worldwide, and that the importance of regulating this payment type is only growing.”