It’s not every day you hear the phrases “card-not-present” and “brick-and-mortar stores” on national television. But, well, last night was different.

Nearly 10 million Americans get their news from NBC and Lester Holt each night, and last night those viewers got a peak into the world of payments from a report on identity theft. Here’s how their report started:

VOICEOVER: It happens every second of every day in America: Someone’s personal identity is stolen. Last year, six out of every one hundred consumers were victimized. While new chip credit cards have cut down on in-store fraud, criminals have simply changed their strategy.

Al Pascual, Javeline Strategy and Research: They went from targeting the retailer and their brick-and-mortar stores to the retailers’ dot-com sites.

The hard numbers are still coming out, but Pascual’s summary has become the generally accepted view in the payments industry. Chip cards have successfully made in-person transactions safer, despite rumors to the contrary (and complaints about speed). But the result of that is that criminals have switched their focus to online fraud, and the volume of e-commerce fraud attempts has gone up.

But the NBC News report was focused on consumers, but we think there are a few big implications for merchants, too: 

  1. If you still don’t accept chip cards, you need to start

It’s undeniable: the chip card switchover didn’t go smoothly for many processors. Whether it was the “should I swipe or insert?” confusion or the insanely slow transaction times, chip cards were not exactly embraced when they arrived in 2015.

But chip cards make your store more secure, save you money, and protect consumers from identity theft—these benefits are simply too much to ignore. The truth is that your chip card experience is dependent on your processor. There are companies with fast solutions and simple setup, so you can prevent the “do I swipe or insert? Insert? Oh sorry you said swipe” confusion, and get customers out quickly.

  1. Security is paramount in every avenue—and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of CX

If you only focus on securing one of your payment channels, you’re putting another at risk. You need to be sure you’re working with companies that will protect every avenue you have, and not simply taking the route that is simplest for themselves. Chip cards are great, but are you keeping your data off your POS? Is your provider simply siloing your channels for convenience sake, preventing a better customer journey?

  1. Criminals will never give up, so make sure you’re futureproof

The battle between hackers/criminals and security companies will never end. Chip cards have made in-person transactions safer, so that’s led criminals to move online. As online security evolves, criminals will switch their efforts to a new avenue and a new strategy.

If your payment solutions can’t quickly and easily update to protect against the next mode of attack, you’re going to be in trouble. Make sure you choose a solution that allows for seamless, friction-free updates.

​​Our 3 Takeaways From the NBC Nightly News Report

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