Friday , December 14, 2018

COMMENTARY: A New Coalition Unites Diverse Players to Confront Payments Fraud

When you flip over your debit card or go to an ATM, you see logos for companies like Shazam, First Data’s Star Network and others, but you may not think about the role these processors play in the payments system.

As one of those processors, we simplify the connections that make commerce possible. Every day, merchants, financial institutions and governments around the world rely on us to deliver simple solutions to finalize payments in the most advanced and secure way possible.

We take that responsibility seriously. Currently, the United States leads the world in payment fraud and still lags behind in developing and implementing solutions to secure payments. This is why processors continually invest in innovative technologies like machine learning, which can now detect anomalies and predict fraud in real time. When it comes to payment fraud today, it’s not enough to say, “How do we keep the bad guys out?” The real question is, “If an unauthorized attack occurs, how do we protect consumer data?”

Kramer: “Shazam supports an industry where merchants, networks, processors, and card issuers work together to achieve a common goal of open standards that provide the best data security available.”

Processors like us certainly aren’t the only ones with a stake in improving payment security. Real change requires bringing together the best ideas, experiences, and technology from across the payments system. That’s why we are a founding member of the Secure Payments Partnership (SPP), which brings together, for the first time, diverse segments of the payments ecosystem to solve payment fraud and to ensure the voices of merchants, networks, processors, and card issuers of all sizes aren’t just represented, but equally weighted.

Shazam, along with processor First Data Corp., joined a host of familiar names in Washington, D.C., including the Food Marketing Institute, National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores, and National Grocers Association to fight for a more inclusive approach to solving payment fraud.

It’s important to note that payment networks occupy a unique position within the payments system, sitting between merchants and financial institutions. These groups often share similar goals but have different perspectives on how to achieve them. Networks like Shazam believe we can help bridge that gap and bring both perspectives to bear. One thing is clear: Addressing this issue in industry silos isn’t working.

As the SPP evolves, it will focus on a range of issues that impact payment security, including the need for open standards and an inclusive process to set them. As new technology enters the ecosystem and consumer demand for continued innovation increases, we must put a premium on a process that allows each player the choice and flexibility to build payments solutions that secure consumer data and meet that player’s unique needs.

SPP’s members agree that a more inclusive process would allow our industry to effectively combat payment fraud together. Shazam’s unique position as a card issuer, processor, network, and merchant acquirer allows us to see that the perspective and expertise of merchants, community banks, and credit unions must all be included to create a better, more comprehensive approach to payment security.

Shazam supports an industry where merchants, networks, processors, and card issuers work together to achieve a common goal of open standards that provide the best data security available. Those standards need to be ubiquitous and promote interoperability.

In partnership with the SPP, Shazam seeks payments solutions that offer integrity, security, and reliability. This is an obligation we believe we bear for the next generation of consumers.

—Dan Kramer is executive vice president for government and community affairs at Shazam, Johnston, Iowa.

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