Payment Security Issues Worry Retailers

The ACI Worldwide survey found 75 percent of respondents prioritize payment security as the most important feature of a mobile wallet offering.

aci and payment security

Payments security is a core area of concern for retailers, according to a survey of 200 retail industry professionals, which was conducted by electronics payment specialist ACI Worldwide.

Payment security (72 percent), integrated loyalty options (71 percent) and seamless ordering (55 percent) were highlighted as the top three features that all respondents want their mobile apps to deliver.

"On the payments front, merchants should look at payment security tools like point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization," Michael Grillo director of merchant solutions at ACI Worldwide, told eWEEK. "These security protocols remove payment data from the clear and make it difficult for hackers to steal payment credentials that can be sold on the black market or used directly by fraudsters."

Grillo said the growing use of card-on-file models (both remote and proximity) among merchants is accelerating token usage and as a result, many of the players in mobile payments and mobile wallets are now using tokenization as an important part of their payment security strategy.

"As merchants adopt and roll out new channels for shopping and purchasing, they find themselves needing to find ways to secure these channels so consumers can feel confident about them," he explained.

The survey also found 70 percent of all respondents cited online/domestic as the top channel their retailer sells through today.

Online shopping in-store (through a tablet or other device) ranked as the second most popular digital channel (45 percent), followed by online/international and cross border (44 percent), and mobile/in app (38 percent).

Social media payment has not been widely adopted yet, but remains a trend to watch (11 percent), the report noted.

The survey also found 75 percent of respondents prioritize payment security as the most important feature of a mobile wallet offering, followed by integrated loyalty/rewards (55 percent) and mobile ordering (46 percent).

Although nearly four months have passed since the October 1 EMV liability deadline, the majority of respondents are not compliant.

Of the retailers surveyed, only 8.5 percent indicated that they were already compliant and 14 percent are not prepared. 48 percent are prepared or somewhat prepared, but still have work to do and/or are still evaluating their options for EMV.

"I think security will come in several formats. Mobile devices will continue to incorporate biometrics and other device centric security protocols to make it more difficult to take over or steal sensitive data from smart devices," Grillo said. "Mobile apps and mobile wallets, whether they are merchant-based, bank and issuer-based or other, will need to include payment security protocols like the aforementioned P2PE and tokenization to better keep critical data out of the hands of the bad guys."