One of the main challenges for E-payments and M-payments providers is to operate in a global, complex and highly regulated market, as the services are rendered on a cross-border basis. That’s also the case from a security perspective. The rules to be complied with by different stakeholders come from different sources (such as local regulators, European Commission, or Card Schemes). Therefore, they are not always consistent and they are applied differently depending, for instance, on the local law governing the issue or the region where the transaction takes place.
Given the innovative character of these channels and the new risks they might introduce, it is absolutely necessary that legislators, regulators and providers of e-payments and m-payments adopt a customer-oriented approach. With that in mind I think that the following are the most relevant security angles to bear in mind:
– Firstly, customer experience and trust. For these two payment channels, e-payments & m-payments, to grow at a reasonable pace, customers have to perceive them as something simple, usable and safe. And they should also see security as a solution rather than a “pain in the neck”. To that end, I believe that the key security measures (such as authentication) must be as uniform as possible. This may be the only way for the consumer experience to be consistent, since the security features might vary depending on a variety of circumstances (such as territory, technology behind it, card brand, etc.). With a consistent security framework, customer trust will surely increase.
– And secondly, customer education and protection: in this regard, it’s important to understand that customers need to get familiar with e-payment and m-payment methods not just in order to easily operate and use them to pay, but also in order to become aware of all the implications of using them. Customer awareness and education programmes implemented by the businesses in scope are likely to help in this regard.
The bottom line for the customer-oriented approach is that if we really wish to reach the above milestones, the rules finally published, applied and enforced have to be consistent and uniform. To that end, it is paramount for those rules to be based on global or, at least, pan-European standards, leaving no (or little) room for domestic or regional deviations.
To have a better understanding of the e-payments and m-payments environment, Ignacio also talked about the complexity of compliance framework and about the competition challenges faced by the providers of these two new payment methods.