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Payment security key in push towards digital economy

Released at: 10:46, 22/06/2019

Payment security key in push towards digital economy

Photos: Khanh Chi (VET)

Cybersecurity, biometrics, and safer e-commerce among key topics at 15th Asia Pacific Visa Security Summit in Shanghai.

by Hong Nhung

Cybersecurity has been raised recently as the most important issue for Vietnam and has become a prerequisite for the country’s successful national transition to a digital economy. This was also the primary issue for many regional organizations and authorities in discussions at the Asia Pacific Visa Security Summit 2019 held in Shanghai, China, on June 19 and 20.

The Summit was one of the largest payment security events in the region, bringing together leading risk professionals to share experience and best practice in payment security innovation. This year, more than 500 participants gathered to hear how the industry can continue to collaborate in the years to come.

Payment security trends this year include in-person payment fraud continuing to decline, growth in e-commerce driving need for secure digital payments, and the increased adoption of biometrics.

Vietnam is building its own digital transformation roadmap by improving cybersecurity to create a digital society as the domestic digital payment and e-commerce industries experience a boom in recent years. On that journey, Visa - the world’s leader in digital payments - has committed to working with local banks and other financial organizations around the country to prevent potential attacks with a portfolio of risk products and services.

As Vietnam has been among the most cyber-attacked countries, especially regarding payment security, Visa has been issuing security alerts in the past year to all Vietnamese banks and local authorities. “We have been constantly working with banks on updated technologies to ensure implementation,” said Mr. Sriraman Shivakumar, Head of Risk at Visa Southeast Asia. “We also continue discussions and partnerships with industry bodies to exchange knowledge on cyber-security.”

Digital payments continue to grow across Asia-Pacific as consumers become more active users of e-commerce and rapidly adopt cashless methods of transactions. Central banks and regulators are also implementing digital initiatives to reap the benefits of digital payments, which include greater transaction convenience, bolstering innovation, and lowering costs associated with cash handling. These developments have also created a proliferation of data, which is increasingly attractive to cybercriminals.

Photo: Khanh Chi (VET)

“Almost every government in Asia-Pacific is focused on driving a digitization agenda, reducing the reliance on cash and checks,” said Mr. Joe Cunningham, Head of Risk at Visa Asia Pacific. “This has created tremendous opportunities for digital payment innovations. The payments industry generates significant amounts of data, some of which is sensitive and attractive to criminal organizations. We play a unique role in protecting the security and integrity of the payment ecosystem, to the benefit of merchants, cardholders, and all our clients. We continuously invest to ensure Visa remains the most innovative, reliable, and secure digital payment network.”

Using security innovation to fight fraud

The rewards of innovation are double-edged. As the threat of cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and pervasive, Visa, together with the industry, is pioneering new ways and solutions to secure e-commerce and prevent potential attacks.

With e-commerce sales in Asia-Pacific expected to reach $3.5 trillion in 2021, further cementing the region as the largest market in the world for online shopping, technologies like tokenization will help ensure no token details are transmitted during an online transaction. Visa Token Service replaces sensitive account information, such as a 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier called a token. This token allows payments to be processed without exposing actual account details that could potentially be compromised.

“We envisage a future free from passwords, where consumers enjoy the benefits of advanced technology to authenticate their identity,” Mr. Cunningham said. “A future with less fraud and less friction. As governments and businesses look to expand new ways to pay, Visa is committed to collaborating with partners to develop and invest in security standards that deliver a safer, secure, and seamless commerce experience.”

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