TECHNOLOGY

Study: Companies hit by payments data breaches step up security efforts

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Payments security is becoming a priority among companies, especially those that have been victimized by a data breach.

More than 70% of organizations that experienced payments data theft intend to increase their payments technology investments in 2018, according to the “2018 Global Payments Insight Survey: Bill Pay Services,” from ACI Worldwide.

According to the study, one in five organizations has experienced payments data theft over the past 12 months, and 36% of organizations across all industries believe they are at a greater risk of data breach than a year ago. Meanwhile, 44% agreed with the view that: “My company would not invest in fraud solutions that add friction to the customer experience.” This sentiment is down from 57% a year ago.

The good news is that more than 80% of organizations that have been impacted by a data breach have introduced a new security framework, especially those related to protecting digital payments. For example, 79% of companies have reduced employee access to customer data.

Another way that companies are fighting back is with real-time payments. In fact, 80% of organizations believe real-time payments will bring cost savings, a jump from 48% the prior year. Meanwhile, 77% believe that real-time will bring improvements in their customer service.

Seventy two percent of respondents expect to move more of their organizations’ payment software into the cloud in the future, an increase of nearly 20% from last year. This reinforces a strong uplift in the popularity of cloud.

Mobile-optimized electronic bills are the biggest current development area, with just under half (49%) of all organizations currently adding new capabilities. Payments from a mobile-optimized website (46%) and text message (42%) are also popular payment methods in development.

Nearly 30% of organizations are developing voice payment features for consumers to trigger payments, with a further 19% are interested in exploring this area in the future, according to the study.

“Security has clearly become a focus for organizations as it relates to billing and payments, and with good reason,” said Steve Kramer, VP, ACI Worldwide.

“The potential reputational and financial costs that could be incurred because of a breach are a major concern,” he added. “Organizations must protect themselves with advanced technologies, such as point-to-point encryption, tokenization and a private cloud.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Fanatics uses the cloud to create customized shopper experiences

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys across retail channels.

The online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise enables customers to make purchases online, in-store, via smartphones and in stadiums during sporting events. This complex model forced Fanatics to rethink how it could empower its customer service agents and supervisors to deliver more personalized experiences regardless of the channels its customers visit.

By leveraging the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud suite, the company is modernizing its call centers, and adding solutions that will transform how it engages with its customers across channels. In addition, the infrastructure is breaking down legacy customer service silos to create a unified, omnichannel experience that combines Web, social and contact center.

To bolster this new model, Fanatics used Oracle’s cloud to launch its Athletes Solutions Kiosk, a tool designed to resolve fans’ questions, drive consistent engagement across channels, and provide a more personalized and friendly customer experience. The cloud also supports Fanatics’ Jersey Assurance program, which features a free replacement jersey if the active pro player switches teams within 90 days of purchase. The cloud’s analytics also monitor customer behavior across channels and devices, helping Fanatics create tailored, engaging and seamless fan experiences.

“We wanted to make sure that whenever [customers] contacted us, whether it’s through voice, chat or email, that we would be able to give them a really world-class experience,” said Carolyne Matseshe-Crawford, VP, fan experience, Fanatics. “We had a very talented group of people, but they were working independently in silos and we knew that had to change. With Oracle, we have been able to bring our team together and deliver a tailored experience so that whenever or however fans contact us, it feels like they are communicating with a friend.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon Key expands nationwide—and gets more locks

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon’s smart home program is expanding.

Amazon is rolling out some of the main features of its “smart entry” program, Amazon Key, to Prime members nationwide, including keyless entry, remote lock and unlock and guest access. But the program’s primary feature — in-home deliveries — will continue to be available only to members in 37 select cities and surrounding areas. (The delivery feature uses a smart lock to allow Amazon to make deliveries inside a customer’s front door.)

Amazon has also added a new feature to Amazon Key: entry and exit video clips that allow customers to view motion video clips of a person entering or leaving their home when the door is locked or unlocked. It also has expanded the selection of smart locks customers can choose, adding five new compatible locks for a total of eight.

“Customers have told us that they love how easy it is to use Amazon Key for keyless entry and door monitoring from anywhere with the Amazon Key App,” said Rohit Shrivastava, general manager, Amazon Key. “It’s a great service for busy families; you no longer have to worry about giving keys to service providers like house cleaners, instead you can give them their own code right from your Amazon Key App.”

In addition to in-home delivery, Amazon Key can be used for other purposes, the company pointed out. Instead of having to leave a physical key under a door mat, customers can lock and unlock their door from anywhere using the Amazon Key App with the touch of a button. Customers also have the added security of providing codes to guests for home access, managing their guest list, and assigning when and for how long a guest has access.

Amazon Key customers can also use their app to view a live stream of their door anytime, use two-way audio, and receive notifications when their door is locked or unlocked.

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