Payments. It is a process that unites every retailer out there. No matter what your retail store is selling, there will be a moment when the payment process occurs – whether that is in a store or online.

“The payment landscape is evolving, and retailers should take note.”

But the tech landscape of today is reshaping the way payments work. With the rise of digital and real-time payment solutions, the realm of payments is set to undergo some key changes. Projecting and tracing these developments will be vital for retailers looking to stay ahead of the game in terms of providing customers with optimal payment solutions. Here are some of the key developments happening within today’s payment landscape:

Growing move toward real-time payments: 

In the world of bank-offered digital payment networks, clearXchange is perhaps the biggest name in the game. Recently, the company made an announcement that turned heads in the payment realm: It is now offering retailers a real-time solution.

“What this means is that payments using clearXchange’s real-time solution will be immediately available to the recipient through their existing bank account,” DepositAccounts reported.

It is a move that pushes financial institutions toward being better able to accommodate the mounting patron desire for real-time payment options. Because more than 100 million people access the clearXchange network, the service’s offering of real-time solutions suggests that traditional payment methods like cash and checks are losing even more momentum.

Elevated security concerns: 

While signaling progress in terms of timely and cost-efficient payment solutions, the clearXchange news also brings up important questions of security. As Ray Wizbowski, vice president of financial marketing at Entrust Datacard, pointed out to DepositAccounts, the transferring of real-time funds leads to possible issues surrounding the security of the users’ identity. At the moment, the security bar for clearXchange is low, with the platform only requiring email addresses or phone numbers in order to send funds to an account. Without more robust means of identity-vetting — such as biometric authentication, for example — the process could emerge as a vulnerable target for fraud.

Increase in mobile payments: 

Advances in mobile payment technology offer consumers a means of payment that seems more convenient, and may signal the gradual decline of the now ubiquitous physical payment card. But when it comes to this payment solution, security again becomes an issue. Without strong mobile security in place, the process of mobile payments becomes highly susceptible to targeting by cybercriminals.

The changing payment landscape holds many opportunities for enterprises and consumers alike, but it is also important to keep security in mind as forward moves are made. While advancements toward more expedient payment methods are a positive step, they should not come at the expense of security, which remains a vulnerable point for evolving payment methods.

Entrust Datacard