Ever heard the expression “sleep with one eye open”?
In simple terms, it means to stay vigilant—to be aware of what’s going on around you, especially where your livelihood is concerned.
For merchants, that means keeping tabs on the latest trends in the payments industry, especially when it comes to up-to-the-minute technology solutions.
Why adopt the newest tech?
In addition to making the buying experience faster and easier for your customers, payment processing innovation typically goes hand in hand with enhanced security features—which benefits your bottom line in the long run. Here are a few technology trends that have industry experts talking. EMV chip cards are getting an upgrade. The worst thing about chip cards? Slow transaction speed.
EMV technology is designed to accelerate the process and shorten the wait time at checkout. Visa’s Quick Chip and MasterCard’s M/Chip Fast are two prime examples, both of which offer increased protection for consumers. Improvements in chip card production will also enhance payment security by making it nearly impossible to create counterfeit cards. (Counterfeit fraud is an issue with traditional magnetic stripe cards, which hackers can easily duplicate using a card reading device.)
But the innovation doesn’t stop there.
Visa previously announced plans to test a new type of payment card—one that combines EMV technology with biometrics to facilitate consumer transactions and provide a higher degree of security. If you haven’t yet upgraded your equipment to accept chip cards, remember that your business could be held accountable if fraud occurs. As of October 2015, liability in EMV-related fraud cases now falls on the party with the least secure system—which means merchants who haven’t made the switch could be facing financial penalties. Mobile point of sale (mPOS) systems are becoming even safer. Mobile technology continues to drive innovation in the payment processing arena, making mPOS systems like Square, PayPal Here and TouchBistro were among the top trends at the beginning of 2018.
In addition to providing a more efficient checkout process, mPOS technology allows merchants to complete transactions anytime, anywhere. While some mPOS providers ran into problems early on due to a lack of encryption, most have since resolved the issue and now encrypt their transactions to reduce the risk of a security breach. In doing so, many mPOS manufacturers have taken the necessary steps to become PCI compliant—an added benefit for merchants.
NFC technology offers endless possibilities with enhanced security. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology enables consumers to make purchases quickly and easily by holding their smartphone within a few centimeters of the payment terminal—think Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet. NFC greatly reduces the likelihood of fraud because it utilizes a short-range signal, which means hackers would need to be extremely close to an individual to gain access to secure information.
Even still, providers like Apple Pay and Android Pay have taken additional steps to protect consumer information, utilizing encryption and virtual account numbers so data is never actually transmitted. Both solutions also allow users to “wipe” financial details if their mobile phones are lost or stolen.
Finally, the benefits of NFC for business go beyond making transactions simpler and safer. Some experts predict NFC technology will replace credit and debit cards altogether, so getting in on the action now is a great way to stand out and make a name for your business. Tokenization is solving the problem of storing sensitive information. Cybercriminals are only getting smarter in response to security advancements in the payment processing industry. As a result, many merchants are looking to tokenization to not only protect customer data but also to prevent security breaches.
Compatible with NFC technology, ACH transfers and, more recently, Apple Pay, tokenization replaces a piece of sensitive data such as a credit card or bank account number with a non-sensitive “token” that retains the information but with a unique code that keeps it safe from hackers by way of encryption. The information is stored with a third-party vendor, while merchants simply keep the token in their system to offer consumers a quick and easy way to pay online, over the phone or in person.
Keeping up with the latest tech isn’t just smart; it’s essential. No system will ever be 100% secure, but making sure your business is using the latest payment processing technology will go a long way toward increasing security, improving the customer experience and safeguarding your bottom line.
Maybe you’ve been holding back because you don’t fully understand how the newest technology works, or maybe you just don’t have the time to research the best options for your business. Good news: we’ve got your back.
At Merchant Broker, we make it a point to stay on top of the cutting-edge tools and technology shaping the future of the industry. That way, we can help you improve your current systems so you can spend more time running and growing your business.
Sound good? Contact Merchant Broker today.