The McKinsey 2020 Digital Payments Consumer Survey found that digital payments continue to grow in adoption and relevance. Smart solutions that offer accessible and easy digital transactions are increasingly becoming essential to consumer stickiness and engagement. However, as these solutions evolve, so must the security surrounding them to ensure that both retailer and consumer are protected. This is particularly relevant with software Point-of-Sale (POS) platforms which are gaining traction in the payments space. Juniper Research estimates that the number of handsets capable of using contactless payments will grow to 24 million by 2026.
“Security within this space covers multiple touch points, from the card to the app and the device being used,” says Kieron Ekron, CTO at Halo Dot. “This ranges from consumer-led security which covers secure passwords and PIN numbers and practicing good security hygiene, to recognising phishing scams; to business-led security that ensures every aspect of a payments solution is secure, aligned with regulatory expectations, and compliant with industry standards.”
From PCI compliance to encryption, to PIN management and beyond, what makes a good payment platform is how many of its touch points are secured and how rigorously these are enforced across both the consumer and the retailer. Payment solutions need to tick multiple boxes before they’re launched into the market and retailers must ensure that the promises of robust security are kept by the solution before they implement it. Good security practices are essential to provide both the retailer and consumer with peace of mind throughout.
“The litmus test of a trusted and secure payments partner is how closely they work with partners to test their applications and how methodical they’ve been in embedding security,” says Ekron. “There is no such thing as rapid deployment in the payment's world – every step must be methodical, tested, calculated and deliberate. If even one party in the payments chain, from consumer to retailer to bank and back, drops the ball then it weakens the entire process. In this sector, the old adage ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link’ is absolutely true.”
Fraud is a very real problem, not just in South Africa, but globally. Contactless payments can be misused, which is why most banks impose a maximum payment limit as they can prevent fraudsters from cloning and using credit or debit cards after a certain period and minimise the financial damage to the consumer. For online payments, where the cardholder is unable to physically prove that they have the card in front of them, second-factor mechanisms like Verified by Visa and Mastercard Secure Code are used to verify that the person performing the transaction is the cardholder. However, these can add friction to customer interactions and payments which can limit stickiness and engagement.
Leveraging modern SoftPOS solutions, retailers can enhance their payments profile without compromising on security and consumer enjoyment. These solutions allow for users to tap, go and pay within a secure environment that fosters trust on both sides. Halo Dot has invested extensively into security parameters and protocols that ensure every person and company within the transaction chain is secured and protected, putting trust and security at the heart of every engagement.