Taking Payments 24/7. Four STAGGERING facts you should be aware of if you work in retail…

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  1. A massive 24% of all card spending in May 2016 was made online, rising from 22% in May 2015.
  2. In absolute terms, £12.6bn was spent using cards on online purchases in the month of May, a rise of £115m.
  3. This is even more staggering when viewed in the context of the overall DOWNWARD trend in terms of card spending, with May registering the LOWEST level of card spending since July 2013.
  4. But at the same time, contactless spending continues to grow exponentially, with spending up by 247% year-on-year.

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But what does this mean? In my opinion, it points towards our insatiable drive towards convenience. In particular, the convenience that the smartphone delivers. In fact, it’s been over a year now since the Smartphone overtook the laptop as our most popular device for going online, and for making online purchases. Mobile payment is soon to become king.

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It’s difficult to tell in reality if it is merely of a case of thirst for convenience, or if in fact we are just becoming intoxicated and addicted to electronic media and bright colourful screens. At least that was what I read in the news recently, while I was on my mobile of course. I put it down sharply!

But what of the security of our mobile payments? Only recently are we being made aware that it is just as important that our smartphone should be as virus, spyware and phish free as our PC or laptop. But ultimately it doesn’t really seem to matter to us as consumers. People are eschewing the traditional office, study, kitchen table, lay-by or whatever one’s preferred workplace currently is, and are taking to their sofas to browse shops and peruse auctions, in their droves. So this is where they ultimately part with their hard earned pounds. Using their smartphone.

So it seems to me that the easier and more secure that we make it for people to make payments in this way, the more likely that that they are to do it. People are moving away from shopping in what we perceive to be traditional, secure payment environments, as the above figures show.

In the end, it will be up to us as payment providers to ensure that we encrypt and protect card-holder data as best we can, to ensure that every purchase is as secure as humanly possible. Meaning that those “feet-up” purchases arrive just as safely at their destination as does the money in the bank account of the intended recipient. And nobody else.

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