The Insecurity around Security

Posted By: Cindy McGinness | May 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

In just about every business, part of the job is to understand your customers and their needs.  Even outside of business, it’s not a bad thought process to utilize in every day conversation.  That’s why, as product managers, we’ll occasionally make time to sit in on focus groups to speak with people face-to-face, and last week I had one of those opportunities.

It was our task to identify what consumers enjoyed, or didn’t enjoy, about digital payment products and how we might solve for those problems. Not surprisingly, the topic of security came up almost immediately.  Now, to understand the infrastructure of digital payments means to know that they are one of the most secure forms of payments that exist today. Utilizing the process of tokenization, sensitive data is no longer being passed back and forth with every transaction making online or mobile purchases safer than ever. At the very least, safer than their traditional magstripe swipe counterparts when it comes to checking out in-store.  So then why was security such a concern?

The answer was, it wasn’t a concern from a fraudster standpoint, but rather from the 3rd party companies that are now in the business of knowing your financial business. While it may be naïve to presume that Apple, Google, or Samsung don’t already have some form of our information on file, a lot of consumers are still wary about providing even more info to them in the form of their payments data. Rightfully so, as the last few years have been very taxing on consumer trust. People witnessed their most trusted brands (Home Depot, Target, Michaels, Sony, etc.) betray them with data breach after data breach.  Why would they then be so willing to sign over their primary payment information to yet even more businesses?

And so the lesson learned is that we still have a lot of trust building exercises to endure before tapping into a significant segment of the market with digital payments. The iPhone or Android enthusiast will certainly have no qualms with these newer technologies, but outside of that group there are still a lot of uneasy folks feeling the burn from the last time they put trust into an organization outside of their financial institution. But as with everything else, time heals all wounds.


Cindy McGinness

Cindy McGinness

Cindy McGinness manages the Mobile and Bill Payment platforms which enable customer self-service.In this role, she shapes the product vision, directs the product roadmap and has responsibility for the performance and expansion for PSCU’s consumer facing digital solutions in market.Cindy has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with experience in Innovation, client relations, and training during her tenure at PSCU.
Cindy McGinness

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