A new survey suggests that businesses will need to offer frictionless digital payment options if they want to survive in a post-COVID environment. Nearly 85 percent of the respondents described convenient digital transactions as “essential,” implying that those who do not adapt could go under as they lose ground to competitors with better digital services.
However, those businesses will need to make sure that their payment systems are secure if they want to earn the trust of consumers. There are still technical hurdles that need to be overcome in that regard. Sixty-one percent of the respondents indicated that their organization had updated their digital payment options in response to the pandemic, but two-thirds of those organizations had to deal with glitches while doing so.
The findings come courtesy of the Economist Intelligence Unit and TransUnion, which polled more than 1,600 executives from all over the world for a study titled “New Dimensions of Change: Building Trust in a Digital Consumer Landscape“. The executives that participated in the study represented Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, South Africa, the UK and the US.
“COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated digital transformation, but all of this progress will be wiped out if we can’t remove barriers to building bilateral digital trust,” said TransUnion Global Fraud Solutions SVP Shai Cohen. “Our research overwhelmingly showed that biometrics, AI and national digital IDs aren’t just a fad for consumer fraud prevention. They are key for trusted commerce for the foreseeable future.”
According to the report, biometrics will be the most popular form of authentication, with roughly 85 percent of the respondents predicting that it will be used to authorize the majority of payments within the next ten years. AI will be used to evaluate risk and prevent fraud, and to deliver a more streamlined customer experience.
Most of the respondents (70 percent) also suggested that digital ID programs will improve financial inclusion and give those with low incomes better access to various services. That, in turn, will help reduce fraud in consumer interactions. For the most part, executives believe that consumers are equally willing to trust governments and corporations with their personal data, though Chinese executives believe that people prefer to share with government organizations.
The study is yet more evidence of people’s changing digital habits during the pandemic. NuData noted that online shopping increased dramatically in the early stages of the pandemic, and argued that companies will need to improve their digital posture to retain those customers.
Before the pandemic, a separate TransUnion report found that people are worried about fraud when making purchases online.