What’s the biggest barrier to a more robust mobile experience? For most retailers, it comes down to security.
According to an industry survey from ACI Worldwide, 72 percent of retailers cited payment security as their top considerations when looking at the mobile retail space. That led all other categories, narrowly beating out integrated loyalty options at 71 percent.
Not surprisingly, retailers also cited security as the most important feature of any mobile wallet technology that could be deployed in stores, well ahead of loyalty programs and mobile ordering options. The numbers suggest a clear consensus: Retailers simply aren’t interested in mobile payments solutions until they are convinced that consumer security and protections can be maintained.
And the need for better security is urgent, given how widespread mobile device usage is among consumers.
“Consumers shopping at traditional brick and mortar stores are increasingly using in-store browsing capabilities, which puts the power of information in sales associates’ and consumers’ hands,” said ACI Worldwide vice president Lynn Holland.
“Regardless of the channel, our survey results demonstrate that payment security is a core area of concern.”
Retailers Showing a Reluctance to Adapt
The world of payment processing doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being incredible innovative and receptive to change. A lot of liability can come with changing payments strategies, and a simple slip-up can have huge implications for any brand — just think of the times in recent memory when lapses in security exposed consumers to potential fraud.
Even so, today’s retailers continue to drag their heels, for reasons that may span from a lack of familiarity to a reluctance to take on the cost of these transitions.
Since October 1, for example, retailers haven’t had liability protection for payments that aren’t processed using new EMV chips embedded into debit and credit cards. But that hasn’t prompted sweeping changes among those brands: ACI Worldwide found that only 8.5 percent were already compliant. Fourteen percent were not compliant and had no plan for becoming compliant with new payment regulations.
If EMV is any indication, mobile payment solutions could even further from the retail sales floor than some might realize. That’s a point of frustration with consumers, who are gradually gaining confidence in the security of their devices. As consumer attitudes shift, they’ll be more eager to use mobile payment solutions, and early-adopting retailers will be at a great advantage.
Retail brands should be giving this opportunity a close look and thinking hard about adopting a mobile payment infrastructure. But many are content to observe, research and see how the market develops. Individual brands will have to decide whether they’re content to sit with the rest of the pack, or whether there’s an opportunity to lead innovation within the industry.
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