Protection moves to center of payment processing discussion

In the past year or so, health care providers have been by and large the most widely discussed entities when it comes to IT security and data breach prevention, as hackers hit this industry far more frequently in that time frame than in the past. As a note, this is largely due to the higher price tag placed on patient information by individuals involved in the black market compared to other types of data, as well as the more rapid deployment of novel technologies taking place in this industry. 

However, retailers had a relatively long standing as the most at-risk industry in the eyes of analysts, consumers and other entities, as the earlier part of this decade was marked by massive breaches that impacted tens of millions of individuals at a time. Retailers must ensure that they are taking a security-centric approach to their payment processing technology investments, as well as their management and policy making activities, to avoid becoming the victim of the next major data loss event. 

Recommendations heard
A recent eMarketer report explained that the latest research from ACI Worldwide revealed fraud prevention and payment processing security have indeed become more prominent components of transaction technology investment decisions. As a note, integrated payments were also a widely cited item on the agenda of companies in the sector of late, and mobile is at the center of this trend, with 71 percent of companies citing the desire for apps that can deliver to a wider range of devices, the source noted. 

According to the news provider, a separate study from Boston Retailers Partners found that "unified commerce," which is essentially integrated payments technology, was the highest priority of leaders in the industry going into 2016, with 85 percent of the survey pool falling into this category. Following customer-facing, engagement-related solutions, eMarketer stated that 38 percent of firms are citing security as a high priority in their technological agendas this year. 

At the end of the day, the onus is firmly on the shoulders of business leaders in the retail sector, and they will need to ensure that they are balancing their priorities enough to ensure strong user engagement and optimal protection against breach at all times. 

Integration is key
Unified commerce should be a more widely discussed topic in the sector, as it is used to define a seamless transaction technology strategy that ensures strong interoperability among systems and the most optimal use of the solutions involved. Retailers can now purchase and deploy integrated payments technologies that will effectively bolster the performance of their transaction assets and, subsequently, the customers they serve. 

With the right tools that come standard with strong security features and adherence to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, firms will be able to focus more on the strategic matters related to prospect conversions, employee engagement, customer retention and the like.