With the New Year finally upon us it is natural for people to try and come up with predictions for the next 12 months. The situation is no different in the payments industry.
The one issue which always remains a top talking point among any organisation involved in payments is fraud. It is fairly understandable that the security of shops and shoppers is so paramount to the whole industry.
The last few years have been quite successful on this front, with instances of fraud becoming less and less frequent, although some high profile breaches (e.g. Sony) have reminded everyone that the battle with cyber criminals is still going on.
Unfortunately according to a report recently published by PayPoint.net this issue could become even more of a priority for everyone this year.
This is mainly due to the emergence of some new payment methods, which do not have as robust security features as the already established ones. The data gathered on behalf of the payment provider suggests that losses from fraud could as a result increase by as much as £30 million to reach a staggering £195.3 million by 2015.
This year will be crucial, as many of the new channels (mobile, social, etc.) will be pushed widely by payment providers (e.g. PayPal), card issuers (e.g. Visa) and many others (e.g. Google). Unless safeguards are put in place soon, then it will be difficult to keep those developments as secure as they should be.
One huge development worth following closely will be Visa's and Samsung's wide launch of NFC mobile payments during the Olympic Games in London this summer. If this experiment goes well and without significant security concerns, then it will provide everyone with a lot of confidence. It is crucial that both companies involved realise what the risks are and are prepared to protect consumers and merchants from those.
However well or badly this experiment goes there is no doubt that fraud will undoubtedly be crucial for anyone involved in the payments industry in 2012. Hopefully they can keep ahead of the fraudsters for as long as possible.
Eva Grzybek works for PayPoint.net, helping online businesses with credit card processing.
Follow Eva Grzybek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/paypointdotnet