Security & Fraud

Where Payments Security Fits On Digital Channel Priorities

When have retailers had more to keep track of in their day-to-day operations than right now? Managing in-store inventory, fulfilling online sales and everything in between can keep even the smoothest-running organizations busier than they ever thought possible, but there’s still another issue that retailers and tech innovators alike agree needs to be solved for the good of the industry.

According to a survey conducted by the ACI Worldwide, 75 percent of retail industry professionals agree that securing mobile payments is the single most important problem that they face today. Lynn Holland, vice president of product line management at ACI Worldwide, explained that the perceived need for solutions will only grow as more consumers become familiar with the technology.

“The proliferation of retail digital channels demonstrates the trend that ‘clicks upstage bricks,’ but even consumers shopping at traditional brick-and-mortar stores are increasingly using in-store browsing capabilities, which puts the power of information in sales associates and consumers’ hands,” Holland said in a statement. “Regardless of the channel, our survey results demonstrate that payment security is a core area of concern, particularly around tokenization and point-to-point encryption.”

Though payments security dominates the conversation, 55 percent of retailers also cited the importance of integrated loyalty and rewards in mobile payments apps. Just 46 percent indicated that mobile ordering should be a critical element of a mobile payment platform.

Despite the industry’s collective emphasis on increased payments security, the ACI survey found glaring holes in how many retailers managed the EMV transition. Nearly four months after the deadline, just 8.5 percent of survey respondents claimed that they were fully compliant with EMV regulations. A further 48 percent said that they were in various stages of partial preparation, and 14 percent admitted that they were not ready in any way, shape or form to make the switch.

If 75 percent want increased payments security yet only 8.5 percent have taken the steps to secure things on their end, it might be time for retailers to take a long, hard look in the mirror.


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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. In the November 2019 Mobile Order-Ahead Report, PYMNTS talks with Dan Wheeler, Wahlburgers’ SVP, on how the QSR balances security and seamlessness to secure its recently launched WahlClub loyalty program.