0aaTracy Metzger Vesta

“Imagine a world where…”

This is a phrase I use often when thinking about ways to improve customer experience. Of course, that phrase generally gets an eye roll from my team, as they know the words that follow will challenge their current way of thinking.

To both the benefit and challenge of retailers, the payments landscape changes rapidly and new payment forms emerge constantly. Some of these emerging payments options are leveraging the rails of the big issuers while others are trying disrupt them. But for any payment option to fit into the omnichannel experience and extend retailer experiences to satisfy consumer shopping preferences, it must have hooks into mobile, online, in-store and social platforms. Apple Pay, for instance, can be used in-store, online or via mobile device, and its ability to deliver a consistent cross-channel experience is one of the big reasons it continues to gain momentum.

As the payments landscape continues to evolve, several key criteria for success have emerged. The first is the ability to enhance the customer experience by removing the friction of making a payment in the virtual world while also accepting a mobile-based payment at the point of sale. In addition, the privacy and security of these payment methods is always top of mind for the consumer and the retailer.

But does removing friction from the checkout potentially compromise the safety of a consumer’s data? The real security challenge comes in balancing those competing elements in a way that preserves a low-friction customer experience, as the difficulties are heightened by disparities between mobile and online channel dynamics.

For years, tokenization technology has been leveraged to reduce the risk of illegally compromising card numbers stored on e-Commerce platforms. By and large, tokenization has proven to be a solid tool, but it still doesn’t cover the risk posed by single-purchase customers that never store their card numbers securely in a retailer’s payments ecosystem. In those cases, retailers must…