Why security is a non-negotiable element in digital transactions
In the five years since the Digital India campaign was announced, the financial landscape of the country has undergone a radical change. While we have witnessed significant adoption of smart banking solutions, its inclusion in rural India has been unprecedented. The adoption of smartphones and increased internet penetration has created an ecosystem where more consumers come online and establish new habits, and businesses benefit from the cost and reach advantages that digital services offer.
However, this development has also brought its own set of challenges in the form of increasing online frauds, which is becoming a concern for businesses and consumers. Even as financial institutions and businesses adopt the latest strategies to make digital payments more secure, the nature of digital fraud continues to evolve. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated our dependency on digital platforms. With a lot of us falling back on digital infrastructure, the importance of understanding various frauds becomes even more imperative. The new-age hacker is using more sophisticated, innovative ways to obtain valuable customer information to hack into accounts.
As mobile payments become pervasive due to low-cost mobile data connectivity, wider merchant acceptance and the lack of contact to make payments, it will become imperative for financial institutions to invest in enhancing security for better fraud prevention. A report released by E- commerce Council of India mentioned that the Indian e-commerce market is likely to reach $230 billion by 2028 with an additional 40-50 crore shoppers expected to come online in the next decade. Given this scenario, customer education and awareness will play a crucial role in empowering users to guard their data against new age fraudsters.
Visa’s embedded approach to security
Trust is the cornerstone of Visa and a critical factor in driving business growth for our clients and us. As a global leader in payments technology, our goal is to make Visa the most secure way to pay and be paid for by everyone, everywhere.
Through an evolving and multilayered approach, Visa strives to expect the unexpected, by constantly monitoring the system and sharing intelligence with partners. Our three-pronged security strategy is based on 1) empowering consumers and clients through tools, resources and controls to make more informed risk decisions. To provide these tools, we 2) invest in intelligence and technologies that improve fraud and authorisation performance. And to ensure that everything scales globally, we 3) set governance processes and standards that provide a basis for aligned interests and interoperability between new and existing products, services and participants. These pillars feed into our strategic vision that security is an integral driver for growth and innovation.
Times are changing and so are the payment needs of customers. Through an adaptive and multi-layered approach, Visa monitors its global network and constantly shares intelligence with its partners. It deploys advanced encryption technologies, authentication solutions and artificial intelligence, while always being aware of how people will use its network and products. Visa has solutions for partners across the board to enhance the payment experience of their consumers.
- Three-Domain Secure: a globally accepted authentication solution designed to make e-commerce transactions more secure in real-time. It is an XML-based protocol that provides an additional security layer for online credit and debit card transactions, enabling consumers to authenticate themselves with their card issuer. In India, this is done through the One-Time Password sent to a consumer’s phone.
- Visa Token Service: Visa Token Service, a security technology from Visa, replaces sensitive account information, such as the 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier called a token. In fact, recently, Visa issued its one billionth token, demonstrating the role tokens will play in coming times.
- EMV®Chip: Quick Chip for EMV® streamlines checkout to secure chip card transactions faster and makes the transaction secure.
- Visa Advanced Authorisation (VAA): Visa’s sophisticated anti-fraud detection system leverages AI to restrict fraudulent transactions. Whether you insert, touch, click or tap to make a payment, the predictive analytics in Visa’s artificial intelligence solution are used to fight payment fraud. With the help of AI and our risk detection technologies, Visa has prevented an estimated $25 billion in fraud in 2018 alone.
- Visa Risk Manager (VRM): When used in conjunction with Visa Advanced Authorisation, VRM lets issuing banks tailor their responses in line with their risk profile and their risk criteria.
Designing the next wave of security
Visa continues to explore and evaluate new security technologies that have the potential to advance digital payments. Visa has been testing, analysing, piloting and prototyping capabilities in several new areas of business. However, regardless of technologies, Visa advocates a standards-based approach so that the technology can be accessible by anyone, anywhere. In the end, it will be the end users who decide which technologies to adopt on a mass scale.
The road to stronger security involves a close partnership between all stakeholders to preempt and avoid cybersecurity incidents, and so, the transition to a safe cashless economy will require striking the right balance between innovation and security. With a motto of ‘Responsible Innovation’, Visa strives to bring solutions to the market that enhance consumer and merchant payment experiences of tomorrow.
In our mission to promote financial security across the country, we will continue to look for partners who share our belief that digital security is not about a one-time launch. It means a commitment to continuous innovation and improvisation to facilitate secure and confident transactions across the country.
Vipin Surelia is Head of Risk Services, India and South Asia at Visa