By Sunil Jhamb, CEO and Founder, WL Payments
COVID-19 shopping habits and security concerns
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly shifted shopping habits amongst UK consumers. According to Salesforce’ Shopping Index study, global revenue from online sales skyrocketed 71% year on year in the second quarter of 2020. This rapid growth of the ecommerce sector has been a great opportunity for merchants, but it also introduces challenges.
In an era where more buyers than ever are opting shop online, it is crucial to prioritise security. For the CIOs and CTOs of banks and PSPs, fraud and security are never very far from their minds. Protecting both their own organisations and their merchants from the threat of cybercrime is a truly business-critical challenge – and one in which the stakes are always changing.
With many shops closed in lockdown, cybercriminals have jumped at the chance to develop targeted scams and spear phishing campaigns, attempting to steal consumers’ login credentials. Others have capitalised on people’s desire for information in these uncertain times, creating phishing emails purporting to offer official updates and advice. According to a report by UK investigators, more than 500 coronavirus-related scams and over 2,000 phishing attempts had been made in the UK during COVID-19.
As a result, CIOs and CTOs at banks, PSPs and other payment companies need to adapt and prioritise payment security in order to overcome the fraud and security concerns of merchants. So, the payments platform must meet all relevant legal and regulatory requirements designed to protect the ecommerce landscape from fraud and cybercrime.
This may seem like a relatively clear and straightforward task, however, the constantly shifting regulatory and compliance landscapes, and the combination of fraud and security requirements across different jurisdictions, make it profoundly complex.
White-labelled payment gateway
An increasingly compelling solution for businesses is implementing a white-labelled payment gateway. This solution allows a company to process payments under its own name, simultaneously increasing customer confidence and brand recognition.
The additional benefits of this model are wide-ranging. Extensive fraud and security solutions are already integrated with the payments platform and, rather than the CIO or CTO, it is the platform provider which takes responsibility for security management. All they need to do is undertake a single integration with the platform in question.
This integration is also hugely time effective; creating a new payments platform from scratch could take years of valuable time and resources, whereas integrating with an existing platform and white-labelling can take weeks, or even just days. Furthermore, the quick and seamless migration of merchant data means there is no downtime or disruption of normal business operations- preventing fraudsters and criminals from targeting customers and even attacking infrastructure.
Staying in control of digital payments is a crucial challenge for CIOs and CTOs of all banks, PSPs, and payment businesses. A white-labelled payments platform can be the answer, and within the current climate, its benefits are profound.
Due diligence prior to engaging with an industry partner
It’s essential that payment platforms and banks take a holistic approach to fraud prevention, embracing the payment ecosystem while conducted an appropriate level of due diligence.
While new technology provides the building blocks for overcoming fraud – to make securer payments and align with regulation – it’s a fundamental to know who you’re working with within the payments ecosystem and that you can trust them with your business. When choosing a payments platform partner, ensure that you explore the portfolio of their customers comprehensively – who do they work with? What technology are they using? Do they have the right certifications, processes and procedures? Who are the people behind the business, what is their history? These days it’s very easy for a technology company to set up operations and start processing and migrating data, so having access to the right intelligence will keep you informed that you have the talent and technology to ensure your business and your customers are in safe hands.
They say that the hand that you shake needs to be the one that guides you through the whole process: from the beginning of the project through to delivery and execution. It’s essential that you have a team that can support you around the clock, and it is the same team that you began the conversation with when signing the project. That way if there are any issues with the payments process, these can be resolved by dedicated experts in very little time, without waiting days for a response or speaking to several different people and having to re-brief and explain the issue over and over again – saving your company time and money.