Digital payments, already a booming industry before the COVID-19 pandemic, have since been a key part of a social distancing strategy used by governments in the world. Since the pandemic, record numbers of online payments are being processed across all channels. Juniper Research forecasts that wallet users will exceed 4.4 billion globally in 2025, from 2.6 billion in 2020.
From market data, it is clear that online payment is convenient and drives eCommerce. However, it has also created a playground for cybercriminals who are intent on circumventing the structures on which online payments rely. Trust, it seems, is breaking down.
This finding leads to the idea of establishing ‘zero trust’ payment ecosystems that offer an option to always verify, never trust or store, with security measures, including tokenisation; providing the backbone to achieve this.
The threat landscape continues to evolve and test existing anti-fraud measures. The omnichannel retail environment, fuelled by changing customer expectations, restrictions during the pandemic, along with initiatives that are encouraging the open use of financial data, are creating a perfect storm for fraud. Fresh and upgraded challenges must be tackled in the world of online payments. New types of fraud such as ‘silent fraud’ and cybersecurity vulnerabilities are all contributing to a complex mix of attack vectors.
As in any other industry, disruption has the potential to be a force for good; it opens up opportunities through innovation. However, payments involve a complex web of interactions and APIs, which while creating opportunities for stakeholders, must now be a consideration in fraud terms. The identity network is also a driving force that, used well, can build trust, but also adds into this heady mix opportunities for fraud. Cybercriminals are always one step ahead. They use a mix of social engineering and technology know-how to circumvent systems. Fraudsters’ ultimate aim is financial, so payment systems are the ideal target. Understanding the threat landscape is crucial to reinforcing protection, whilst keeping innovation clear of exploitation.
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