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The finer points of electronic payments deployment, management

Nov 20, 2013 Dave King

Electronic payments have become the most preferred transaction method among a broad range of demographics in recent years, especially as more consumers continue to acquire smartphones and tablets that can be used to complete purchases. Business owners have had to remain ahead of the trend, integrating new platforms to accept mobile payments, as well as other electronic transactions, to cater to the needs of the current market.

While many electronic payment technologies have become far more intuitive than ever before, and are subsequently not as difficult to implement or manage, leaders need to ensure that they are still governing activity tightly. Digital transactions tend to come with a greater risk of data loss and theft than other methods, and as such need to be adequately secured through employee training and protective software investments.

Additionally, electronic payments, especially those conducted through mobile devices, come with a variety of opportunities for businesses, such as the integration of transaction processing with loyalty programs and the collection of customer-related data. Those firms that work to make the most of electronic payments will likely have a substantial advantage in the coming years, as more businesses and consumers are expected to adopt the technology.

What comes next?
Businessweek recently reported that one study from Gartner revealed that global mobile payments will exceed $235 billion this year, and will grow 38 percent to $325 billion in 2014. This would mark unprecedented growth, as the firm pointed out that global mobile payment volumes increased by 44 percent between last year and 2013.

More device manufacturers continue to supply customers and businesses with payment-enabled smartphones and tablets, and this will likely continue to catalyze further growth in the electronic transaction market. According to the news provider, many companies who leverage electronic payment solutions are working to create the most easy and user-friendly platforms and strategies possible.

One of the most important aspects of a mobile payment strategy is to keep the associated systems properly integrated, configured and maintained to ensure interoperability with a variety of devices. The source explained that vendors of electronic payment platforms have recognized this need, and have increased efforts to create completely streamlined services.

Decision-makers need to remember that devices and applications evolve quickly, and that their electronic payment capabilities will need to be regularly updated to sustain optimal functionality.

The security side
Data breaches, especially those that have targeted electronic payments, have been devastating to businesses in recent years. Hackers continue to target the most vulnerable information storage and sharing strategies, and leaders must ensure that they keep defenses tight going into the new year.

Security software and training that enhances the organizational knowledge of relevant threats and best practices of defense can help to simplify many of the more complex challenges of electronic payment protection. Additionally, many companies benefit from using a proven provider of security solutions and services, as the finer points of data protection is sometimes outside of the average executive's expertise.

The first step toward effective electronic payment security management is meeting the criteria of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Hospitality Technology Magazine recently reported that many executives in the service industry prepare for electronic payments by updating systems and policies to account for digital transactions.

Additionally, the news provider stated that point-of-sale integration should be a priority in the coming years, as the interoperability and functionality of systems will be critical to avoid data loss, leaks and various issues with efficiency. By taking the most proactive and well-informed approach to electronic payment strategy deployment and management, businesses will be better positioned to avoid the dangers of data loss and theft.