THE IMPORTANCE of payments security was reinforced at the Visa Asia Pacific Security Summit as the region is poised to lead the global transformation from cash to digital payments.
Urbanisation and increasing mobile usage are driving the appetite for digital payments across Asia Pacific. Half of the region’s population lives in towns and cities, and more than two thirds (1.3 billion) of the 1.9 billion internet users in Asia Pacific access the internet via their smartphones.
Asia Pacific is an US$11 trillion market in terms of payment volume. Currently, more than half (55 per cent), of all transactions are still cash, meaning there is a US$6.1 trillion cash opportunity waiting to be converted into digital payments.
While new innovations are set to enhance the payments experience for consumers, security and maintaining the integrity of the payments system is key to growing commerce. The fast-changing payments ecosystem will require security measures that do not come at a cost of convenience for both customers and merchants.
Joe Cunningham, head of Risk Asia Pacific Visa, said: “Payments security and convenience were once considered opposing forces. Not anymore. We have reached a point where security is embedded in the process. It doesn’t come at the cost of convenience but, rather, it enables innovation.
“Visa is committed to ensuring our network operates at the highest level of security available and will continue to steer the industry towards the adoption of strong technologies based on industry-standards such as EMV chip, tokenization and point-to-point encryption.”
Closer to home in Thailand, around 75 per cent of all transactions are still cash. However, the increased adoption of mobile and contactless payments technology will see electronic payments continue to penetrate into everyday payment segments like supermarkets, coffee shops, and cinemas, reducing the reliance on cash.
Visa also reinforced the importance of taking a standards-based approach to innovation and applying a consistent set of principles for security, reliability and interoperability.
“Visa advocates a standards-based approach to new innovations so all stakeholders in the ecosystem can benefit and participate. We want to promote standards that make it easier for all parties in the payments ecosystem to adopt and deploy new technologies that meet the highest security standards,” added Cunningham.