Beginning with the very first merchants and business owners who sold their goods through ancient cities across the known world, there has been a need to find the easiest and most efficient ways to facilitate and receive global payments between various countries and currencies. This desire has only heightened in the last century as globalization, digitization of international payments, and eCommerce has sped up our world.
As eCommerce and digital currencies have become more popular, technology has shaped how many merchants grow and transact global payments. In fact, according to a recent report by Research Dive, “the global payment processing solutions market is anticipated to register a revenue of $176,749.5 million by the end of 2027, rising from a market size of $65,710.5 million in the year 2019.” Through the pandemic, merchants have sought out new technologies to help give their customers a heightened ease of access. Truly, as the market grows, companies have access to hundreds of technologies through which their customers can make global payments. Each of these technologies come with its upsides and downsides.
On the upside, innovation and technology can help equip your customers with a myriad of payment options and an increase in ease of payments and access. In that same vein of access, innovations in apps, security and software have accelerated new ways of paying with and accessing funds. It has also helped companies grow untethered and enter new markets.
Lockstep, with this shift, is a heightened expectation from consumers. Customers demand ease of access, convenience and a great experience from the companies they buy from. Merchants have the opportunity to stand out by offering exceptional service to their buyers, not only to help increase sales but to help build trust. Remember, if you are not providing them with both secure and easy options to pay, globally, others (including your competitors) will.
On the downside: the influx of technology and digitization of commerce can come with some areas of concern, including issues around Data protection and security.
According to research, nearly 44% of Americans, 38% of Brits, 33% of Australians, and 37% of Canadians have been victims of a data breach or cybercrimes. These numbers will only grow in the future as we continue digitizing all aspects of our payment processes and criminals look to exploit vulnerabilities in company software and payment flows. Data protection and innovative in-house security measures can help safeguard companies and their clients from unnecessary data theft.
It can also prove challenging to ensure compliance and keep security practices up-to-date as technology continues to move at break-neck speeds. Knowing this, we know that the good that comes from this fantastic digitization of our commerce can come with some areas of concern - but we mustn’t fear. There is indeed a way to smartly balance convenience with security as you bring in more thoughtful global payment options and continue on your digital transformation.
Global Payments: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
When it comes to global payments, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But there are many providers that can help you. There are many different ways to make international payments, and some are infinitely more cost-effective and more secure than others. What you choose for your business all comes down to your own specific needs.
If you are looking to find ways to securely allow your customers to make global payments, seek out companies that not only help you provide ease of access but have a solid commitment to security and keeping up-to-date on technology. This includes helping you control costs and fees low and help your company navigate and manage any fraudulent transactions. Keep in mind that there is no perfect provider for global payments. It all comes down to you and your customer’s needs.
So, how can you, as a business owner and trusted merchant, provide a seamless AND secure payment process? How do you decide what you specifically need? With new technological features released every day (such as voice-activated payments, digital wallets, QR codes and cryptocurrency-related payment processing), it’s your job to stay on top of trends and ensure your customers have access to the apps and tools that they enjoy using, as safely as possible.
Let’s dive into ways that you can balance the necessary convenience with a high level of security.
Security VS. Innovation
Many companies view security as a hindrance to innovation and growth. Reasonably, it can be challenging to balance keeping on top of trends and manage frequently changing security protocols and technologies.
Since consumers rank ease as more important than security when making purchases, it can sometimes seem simpler, as a company, to provide customers with access to innovative technology than consider the implications of a data breach.
Increasing cyber crime cases will be an essential thing that companies should be prepared for when finding a global payments partner. The increasing amount of cyber-attacks can enormously affect the business, damage the business/customer relationship, and be a costly mistake for brands.
Already there is much trepidation on the part of the consumer when shopping online, where more than half (59%) of Americans believe fraud is an inevitable part of shopping online, according to this research.
Companies must find a way to think differently to embrace new levels of security and innovation to ensure that they are meeting their customers where they are.
Innovation with a security focus should be prioritized.
Getting started may seem difficult. But, when considering security in your company, start at the top. Anything you bring in should have a security lens, no matter how convenient and trendy the technology seems. From there, find ways to bring in technology for your payment processing that prioritizes security.
Work with companies and payment providers that are ahead of the curve when it comes to navigating the frequently changing tides of cybersecurity. The providers you choose must have a mandate for security and work with you to ensure that your security processes are always up-to-date.
This is a top-down consideration for how your company, as a whole, is run and cannot exist in isolation. Remember that security-first innovation is not a single project – security is a business mindset. It’s a necessary shift that your company must make, along with ensuring that:
- Leadership must have a strong understanding of technology that is brought into the company (how it works, limitations and problem resolutions)
- Technology at the core of the business must be flexible enough to support change and adapt agilely
- Employees play a core role in ensuring adaptability
Beyond that, ensure that your company has clear internal security guidelines and that you provide each employee, new and old, with security training on a regular basis. Building security into your company’s DNA, and articulating it not only to your own employees but to your customers as well, can help you create a culture of security and mindfulness.
Offer a wide range of innovative security features.
Bringing new technologies in is inevitable for any company. As a business leader, you must find ways to bring new and tested security features into your existing products or apply them to your payment flows.
From 2-factor authentication to allowing customers to pay via the Shopify Shop app, Google Pay or Apple Pay, you can add an extra layer of security to your customer experience. Digital wallets are vital for paying in this post-pandemic world. It was rare to find stores that allowed payment via a digital wallet or smartphone until recently.
Most merchants’ payment terminals and point-of-sale (POS) systems were not set up to accept payments via near-field communication (NFC), which enables contactless payments. This has changed. As more stores and restaurants have shifted to allow different payment options, they now offer new and more convenient ways to pay. Interestingly enough, these new payment avenues come across as convenient and seen as safer for customers.
Want to go a step further? Meet biometric technology! Customer authentication via biometrics is now part of the day-to-day for many apps and phones. This includes ‘selfie’ authentication and voice recognition, fingerprint through to iris scans. By using the unique aspects of a customer’s body to measure entry into an app or access to an account before payment, biometrics is fast becoming one of the fastest ways to protect customer’s personal and financial info.
Keep flexible, keep adapting.
New payment options broaden security scope, meaning you have to consider different ways to keep adding innovative features while still maintaining security for your clients. Companies must frequently add new payment options to keep up with changing consumer demands.
Our tip? Use a single secure platform and add new options to it as you need. This can allow you to accept new ways to pay while maintaining a solid base level of security. In some cases, global payment providers go above and beyond the basic payment features and add many third-party integrations and other useful must-haves such as payroll, employee performance management and even Human Resources. Having one unified system can help you keep track of all your back office admin tasks in one simple product. Try out Knit, free for 30 days and gain access to the above and more.
Consumer convenience and satisfaction are critical.
To increase adoption and satisfaction of any technology, even when it comes to payments, convenience and a positive UX is vital. Providing unique ways to measure an identity has proven successful for the smartphone world and has also created consumer trust and familiarity in fingerprint authentication.
Companies can use this trust as a springboard for its broader adoption in the payment world. It’s vital to find ways to increase consumer trust through your payment options and continually be on top of security measures.
Further, from this study, “while convenience and ease of use were ranked as most important, security and safety are still influential factors.” While security may not be their foremost concern, customers do see security as an important consideration, second to .
Consumers are looking for more than just data security. They desire the emotional guarantee that their finances will be safe in the future. Help them not worry and avoid making mistakes with their money, or help them avoid making mistakes with their money through intelligent payment options.
We’re on the path to a more convenient future.
The next generation of global payment providers offers far greater flexibility for consumers to make purchases on their terms while exponentially increasing the trust that their financial and personal information is secure.
It may not seem feasible, but you can indeed balance payment security and customer experience/happiness with an innovative payment solution provider such as Knit. Finding the right payment provider that is well versed in the balancing act between security and customer satisfaction can be as simple as clicking on this link.