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Visa leads the way in preventing cyber attacks

Jul 02. 2019
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By The Nation

In an age where ecommerce is safer, more advanced and accessible than ever before, Visa remains committed to working with partners across the industry to prevent potential attacks with a portfolio of Risk products and services, Joe Cunningham, head of Risk, Asia Pacific for Visa, told delegates at the 2019 Asia Pacific Visa Security Summit earlier this month. 


Digital payments continue to grow across Asia Pacific as consumers become more active users of ecommerce and adopt cashless methods of transactions. Central Banks and regulators are also implementing digital initiatives to reap the benefits of digital payments, which include greater transaction convenience and lower the costs associated with cash handling.

But because these developments have also created a proliferation of data, they are also increasingly attractive to cybercriminals. According to industry research, fraud is projected to cost retailers worldwide $130 billion over the next five years.

“Almost every government in Asia Pacific is focused on driving a digitisation agenda, reducing the reliance on cash and cheques. This has created tremendous opportunities for digital payment innovations. The payments industry generates significant amounts of data, some of which is sensitive, and attractive to criminal organisations,” Cunningham noted. “We play a unique role protecting the security and integrity of the payments ecosystem, to the benefit of merchants, cardholders and all our clients. We continuously invest to ensure Visa remains the most innovative, reliable and secure digital payment network.”

Issuers and retailers are responding to consumer demands for greater convenience through access and use of payment account information across multiple channels and devices. By 2021, the number of connected devices is projected to be roughly 25 billion.

As consumers shop and pay with digital devices, Visa is helping to safeguard the payment ecosystem through a multi-layered approach to payment data safety with solutions and services based on global security standards, protecting and devaluing sensitive data.

This approach has helped to keep global fraud rates at historic lows, even as payment volumes grow. By 2025, Visa expects the industry to continue this trajectory as payment security technologies become more advanced.

The rewards of innovation are double-edged. As the threat of cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and pervasive, Visa, together with the industry, is pioneering new ways and solutions to secure ecommerce experiences further and prevent potential attacks.

Visa Advanced Authorisation is a service that uses predictive analytics combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse more than 500 unique risk attributes and allocates a risk score for each transaction. This score is then shared with financial institutions so they can make an informed decision on whether to approve or decline a transaction. On average, Visa analyses more than six billion pieces of data every day. When data analytics is used with authentication methods like biometrics to verify the cardholder, payment security is enhanced.

With ecommerce sales in Asia Pacific expected to reach $3.5 trillion (Bt107.4 trillion) in 2021, further cementing the region as the biggest market in the world for online shopping, technologies like tokenisation will help to ensure no token details are transmitted during an online transaction. Visa Token Service replaces sensitive account information, such as the 16-digit account number, with a unique digital identifier called a token. This token allows payments to be processed without exposing actual account details that could potentially be compromised.

The Asia Pacific Visa Security Summit is one of the largest payment security events in the region. Held from 19 to 20 June, 2019, it brought together leading risk professionals to share learning and best practices on payment security innovation. This year, more than 500 participants gathered to hear how the industry can continue to collaborate in the coming years.

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