Seen and unforeseen implications of RTP and P2P payments need to be addressed quickly
Consumer expectations of speed and convenience have extended to business-to-business payments and disrupted wire transfers and check payments with instant payments.
However, speed and convenience cannot come at the expense of security. As payment volumes grow among real-time payment (RTP) networks and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, the seen and unforeseen vulnerabilities in the systems will have to be addressed as quickly, if not quicker than, the payments themselves. RTP providers and FI’s will need to think differently and will likely collaborate with trusted partners in payment security to address the challenge.
Akin to the democratization of computing power through personal computers, the growing use of AI will continue to fuel new products and services in payments and have a significant impact on society. But AI will also introduce tremendous challenges due to its potential use by threat actors.
History shows that good intentions can be manipulated by nefarious individuals and groups. For example, the internet splintered to become the surface web, dark web and deep web; and social media is being used beyond its original intent to simply connect friends and family.
The challenge of AI next year and beyond will require a collective effort across industries to limit the darker side of the technology to ensure it is used to deliver opportunities and improvements to society.
Humans are often the weakest link and technology has been trying to solve for it for a long time – from spell-check in word processors and email applications to automatic braking in some of today’s cars. Advancements in payment security will continue to help drive down fraud as the EMV chip did for counterfeit fraud, but technology can only do so much as it still needs to be implemented by people and people make mistakes.
More importantly, social engineering continues to evolve as a channel to prey on the unsuspecting or those with their guard down. All it takes is one person to fall prey to put an entire organization or network at risk. Social engineering will continue because it works. We need to empower users with education and tools since they are often the first line of defense.
People, businesses, and institutions thrive when barriers to progress are low, and trust is high. Preserving that trust requires driving innovation and choice, and redoubling our commitment to security. There has never been a better time to help lead and drive change in payment security which can be a catalyst for growth. By drawing on the lessons from past years, we can address future challenges and capitalize on the opportunities stemming from our increasingly digitized society.
This is the second of two parts on new approaches to payment security.