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Infographic: The EMV and Mobile Payments Convergence

If there’s one thing that Apple Pay has shown the payments industry at large, it’s that security and convenience do not have to be diametrically opposed.

Thanks to a combination of behind the scenes security features including biometrics (Touch ID), tokenization, and a vault-like Secure Element for storing payment card details, Apple Pay proves that usability is not a necessary sacrifice for security.

With the advent of Android Pay and Samsung Pay, the mobile payments market as a whole serves as an example of how multilayer security can be achieved.

To this end, the upcoming EMV shift may also serve to complement these up and coming payments platforms to form a more secure payments ecosystem.

EMV as a catalyst for security improvements

While much has been said about chip cards and their ability to stop card counterfeiting, these same cards can also lead to the standardization of novel approaches to cut down on threats through different channels.

For both in-store and online purchases, encryption and tokenization can work in conjunction with chip cards and contactless payments. It’s only a matter of when.

As it currently stands, EMV is the most important issue at hand, but card networks are prepared to support and protect whatever a consumer chooses to pay with.

Merchants are gearing up for the EMV shift, but picking up EMV-compliant hardware is just one step of the process. Various merchant gateways and SaaS solutions offer tokenization and encryption to better protect against fraud at the point of sale.

This reterminalization will lead to merchants reevaluating how they’re accepting and protecting payments.

“Consumers are interacting with merchants in multiple ways, from shopping in store, to online, to making purchases on their phone via web browser or app, it’s a different world from what we once knew just a decade ago,” said Amy Parsons, Vice President of Global Products and Strategic Merchant Relations at Discover.

“The industry is evolving quickly and it’s important for everyone to look beyond card-present transactions to securing all other channels of payments, while creating a seamless payment experience for consumers.”

The customer is always right

A relatively small number of merchants, around 300,000, enabled contactless mobile payments in the United States prior to the release of Apple Pay. That number has since doubled.

SMBs and national retailers have seen the demand for mobile payments, and are preparing for the change in consumer spending habits.

With other entrants making their way into the mobile payment market, we can expect greater availability and usage of mobile payments among consumers in the near future.

Keeping this in mind, merchants should be looking not only towards supporting chip cards, but the next evolution of consumer payment technologies and habits such as NFC-based smartphone transactions.

Discover Network reports more than nine million merchants under its roster, and it recommends card networks, ISOs, and acquirers to invest extensively in merchant education for not just the implementation of EMV, but also the benefits of mobile payments acceptance.

“We live in an empowered customer-centric world, where individuals are looking to be able to do things anywhere, anytime, on any mobile device,” added Parsons.

“It’s important for merchants to look inside and develop the right way to differentiate their business that creates more value for the customer in a frictionless commerce environment.

One way to do that is to partner with Discover Network to put together the right program that leverages our infrastructure and assets, and commitment to security, to foster innovation within their business.”

EMV and contactless mobile payments may lead to a transformative change in the payments ecosystem, as they standardize the capability to secure transactions with encryption and tokenization and provides greater peace of mind for merchants and consumers.