This morning, PYMNTS.com released their first quarterly feature recapping the 2015 activity in payments – emphasizing that there is no shortage of noise being made from acquisitions, product launches, and new developments within Point of Sale technology and security.
Today’s piece covers the play by plays to date – from acquisitions (Samsung buys LoopPay, Google buys Softcard), to launches (Facebook launched payments inside of Messenger), to updates on mobile payments, EMV migration, and fraud.
With so many moves in just three short months, it’s almost impossible to digest all of the news. PYMNTS.com asked the innovative companies making the noise so far to ring up a list of 20-some major moves that they see as defining payments in the first quarter of 2015.
Ruston Miles, Bluefin Chief Innovation Officer, shared his views on the payment developments to date:
PYMNTS.com: How different are the first 3 months of 2015 from the first 3 months of 2014?
Ruston: In terms of card data breaches, the first 3 months of 2015 are not much different from the first 3 months of 2014. In fact, it’s only getting worse. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) there were 783 breaches in 2014, or about 2 breaches per day. Roll forward to the first 3 months of 2015, and ITRC’s status shows 225 breaches, or about 2.5 breaches per day. Cybersecurity is still a huge issue for merchants and processors to address. Merchants and processors are beginning to deploy PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) to their card terminals to protect against malware, the No. 1 threat to POS systems.
PYMNTS.com: From the perspective of your business, what’s the most significant development so far this year?
Ruston: To entice merchants to adopt P2PE (point-to-point encryption) Solutions, on April 2, Visa announced that it had expanded its TIP (Technology Innovation Program) to include card present merchants that deploy a PCI-validated P2PE Solution to process at least 75 percent of their transactions. According to the announcement, “Participation in TIP allows qualifying merchants to discontinue the annual Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) validation assessment.” The announcement clarifies that, “Qualifying solutions are those that are included on PCI SSC’s list of Validated Point-to-Point Encryption Solutions.” In March 2014, Bluefin became the first PCI-validated P2PE Solution in North America and in December 2014, Bluefin received PCI-validation for the first mobile P2PE Solution.
PYMNTS.com: Based on what’s happened so far, if “Payments 2015” were a brand and had a tagline, what would it be and why?
Ruston: Payments 2015: “Security & Mobility: To Protect and Serve”
The two primary areas of need and innovation in the payment landscape are cybersecurity, in light of the tidal wave of breaches, and mobility, in light of consumer and merchant reliance on smartphones and tablets. Innovators that focus on one or both of these areas are sure to make waves in 2015.
One thing is certain – the road ahead for payments will continue to be loud.