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Fraud and security named main concerns of the regional payments sector

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Network International’s survey highlights key themes that will dominate the industry this year

April 29, 2014 10:36 by

A significant percentage of the region’s financial institutions and multi-channel retailers says fraud, security and risk management are considered the biggest concerns affecting their businesses, according to a survey by Network International. The GCC Payments Innovation Survey 2014 also highlighted challenges and opportunities faced by the payments sector.

Stakeholders of the payments sector identify seven key themes that are expected to dominate the sector throughout 2014. These include fraud and security, narrowing payment margins, increasing focus on mobile-related payment modules, value-added services linked to payments, digital wallets, the significance of loyalty programmes and the growing presence of innovation-focused organisations in the payments world, traditionally the domain of financial institutions and banks.

According to the study, 53 per cent of respondents rated fraud and security as the major payment issues affecting them. The cost of accepting card payments and narrowing margins for payments were cited as secondary areas of concern. Fifty one per cent reported risk management as a key focus area.


Survey results also show that 43 per cent believes that mobile payments represent significant opportunity for regional banks and retailers, with a majority of respondents feeling optimistic about the untapped possibilities of digital wallets. The ability to enhance consumer experience and easier payment options account for the optimism about digital wallets.


Bhairav Trivedi, CEO of Network International, says: “By addressing an array of topics, ranging from challenges, opportunities, innovations and future drivers, on the regional payments sector, we are confident that the outcome of the study will serve as reference material for a wider spectrum of stakeholders, including financial institutions, merchants and regulators.”


Respondents were also asked to name the factors that will drive the e-commerce and online payments sector. A clear majority (83 per cent) regards secure payments as a key enabler of online payments, followed by fulfilment honouring and hassle-free checkout facilities. Loyalty schemes appear to be an important element for stakeholders, with simpler loyalty programmes (69 per cent) cited as more beneficial, followed by travel-linked incentives and location-based loyalty benefits for customers.


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