Will Convergence, and New Tech, Help Reduce Fraud?

As we continue to peruse payment industry headlines in order to bring you the news, we were struck by the relationship between two seemingly unrelated articles.
The first appeared on the Small Business Trends website, and is a very useful, practical listing of “12 Tips for Merchants to Fight Credit Card Fraud at the Point of Sale.” Among the helpful pointers are the suggestion to actually compare signatures on the slip (or screen) versus the card — a practice which has fallen out of favor — and watching out for large sales, or seemingly distracted customers, rushing a purchase right at closing time.
We also liked pointer #10, which says “Know Your POS and Equipment,” and further notes that “sophisticated criminals can access information on the magnetic strip of a credit card when it is swiped at checkout. This process is called ‘skimming,’  and it requires an actual attachment to the terminal that reads the card. To combat this, make sure you know what your payment processing equipment looks like and how it should work…”

At AVPS, we think you should definitely know your payment processing equipment! And we thought of this tip when reading a recent industry newsletter article saying that “barriers piggyback payments convergence.”

The article notes that customers themselves are clamoring for easier ways to pay, and that a convergence of what’s called m-commerce (think electronic wallets, paying with your phone, etc.) and electronic payments are basically inevitable, but the industry — and its safety standards — lag behind customer readiness.

Even though such a convergence brings new fraud risks — many not covered in the “12 Tips,” which is geared for traditional payments with American plastic — the second article postulates that change may, ultimately, lead to more security: “payment experts aren’t wasting time trying to identify more secure solutions,” it says,  listing as one example a pilot program in Germany that “ uses an enhanced user profile to create an anonymous authentication ID, keeping the user’s actual identity concealed,” but still allowing multiple mobile payments.

The article concludes that new anti-fraud solutions may come “from security-centric industries or from legacy experts in traditional commerce. But the potential exists that new solutions will provide consumers with more secure and easier access to contactless and mobile payments.”
Sadly, there will always be fraud, but it may be that new innovations in making consumer payments even easier for you to process will ultimately benefit you, and your customers, from a security standpoint, as well.

But whether you need to shore up security for a traditional card payment set-up, or seek to upgrade to on-the-spot processing or anything else, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your AVPS rep today.
In fact, that’s Tip #12 in the first article:  “When in doubt — call!”

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