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Visa Asks Partners to Ensure Online Security as Digital Payments Surge Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Leading digital payments company Visa has stressed focus on online payments security as consumer behaviour continues to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing more than 1,500 partners and clients at its first virtual edition of the Asia Pacific Visa Security Summit last week, the company called for the need for “robust payment” experiences in a changing commerce environment. Visa also said that the lines between e-commerce and physical buying experiences continue to get blurred and so the challenges of fraud have migrated from traditional to digital space. The company has asked partners to take “proactive” steps.

At the virtual summit, Visa stated it expects contactless payments to replace cash and become the preferred payment method for businesses and consumers as focus on health increases in the post-pandemic world. In dealing with the risk of frauds, the payments company has introduced solutions that aim to maintain balance existing “payment security and customer convenience.” One such method is the Visa Token Service (VTS) that turns sensitive payment data like card numbers and account details into randomised tokens, thus devaluing data and rendering it useless for fraudsters even if stolen. The company’s internal data for the US reportedly showed that tokens reduce frauds by 26 percent on average compared to online card transactions where consumers enter their card details for making payments. “With VTS, Visa took more than five years to issue 1.4 billion tokens worldwide but has now crossed the 2 billion mark in just ten months. VTS is now one of the largest payments security platforms in the market offering data protection while reducing unnecessary form filling steps for consumers,” it said in a statement.

Speaking over the development, Joe Cunningham, Regional Risk Officer at Visa Asia Pacific, said that the pandemic accelerated changes in consumer behaviour, commerce, and digital payments. “We believe these patterns are here to stay, and many first-time digital consumers will decide where to shop based on whether they trust the seller or not. As digital commerce becomes mainstream, payment security is a fundamental driver of trust so the industry must deliver on consumers’ expectations of safe, convenient and fast payment experiences,” the statement read quoting the senior executive. Cunningham also emphasised that the payments ecosystem must “buttress” existing infrastructure as fraudsters evolve their methods faster than most businesses.

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