Amid the hardships and annoyances of the COVID-19 scourge, a compelling use case for contactless payments finally came to light due to widespread concern that traditional POS payment methods, which rely on physical touch, would contribute to spreading the virus. With contactless, consumers no longer have to touch POS terminals, retailers don't have to touch shoppers' payment cards, and nobody has to rely on cash. Now, research early in the pandemic indicated the risk of virus transmission through cash was extremely slim, but that didn't reassure people on the front lines, and payment professionals stepped up to provide exactly what the public wanted.
This issue's lead article delves into the dramatic rise not only of contactless payments, but also of other shopping options such as ecommerce and buy now pay later (BNPL). Experts interviewed for the article explain how recent innovations in commerce work, what problems they solve and why they're set to remain popular after the pandemic is long gone.
Another issue of major concern is the relentless rise in fraud, with 2020 marking 36 billion data records compromised. One contributor addresses this issue and highlights an often overlooked way fraudsters are getting into networks—and it doesn't involve faulty technology. For those considering entering alternative finance, another expert details best practices specific to that sphere. Other timely topics explored in this edition are why chasing maybes is a waste of valuable time, the pros and cons of corporate name changes, and how to make smart use of LinkedIn so it becomes a productive networking tool for you.
In News Briefs, we've highlighted the ETA's Star Awards honoring three standout companies that have been highly adept at maintaining business continuity during the pandemic; Mastercard's launch of a new platform that allows banks and other lenders, as well as mobile wallet developers, to offer BNPL wherever Mastercard is accepted; escalating threats posed by third-party service providers and emerging technologies that have prompted EMVCo and the FDIC to reassess risk mitigation and security strategies; and evidence that cryptocurrencies are finally gaining traction.
Also, be sure to check out our new product and company profiles, which could put you in touch with your next offering or partner, along with our popular updates on recent company and individual milestones in payments. And please don't be shy about reaching out. Share your press releases at firstname.lastname@example.org, and send your questions and comments to email@example.com.
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