The 4th industrial revolution is here. And it is digital. Unlike any other time in recent history, society is witnessing an intense interest in digital transformation. What is changing is nothing less than how consumers interact: with their families, friends, communities and businesses.
Together, technology innovation, changes in consumer expectation and new regulation are the drivers that have already started to redefine the European payment market.
On the one hand, the digital revolution is consumer-driven. Governments and the public sector also need to adapt to this connected digital environment. Social disbursements or public procurement are but a couple of examples of how digital solutions can in many ways help national or local governments act with greater efficiency and transparency.
On the other hand, it is imperative that the payment technology sector builds consumers’ trust by investing relentlessly in safety, because people are concerned with privacy and security. Not a week or month goes by without news about a data breach. October is “Cyber Security Month” in Europe and the U.S. It marks a time for governments, businesses and individuals to focus on the importance of securing our digital infrastructure.
There is no silver bullet. Electronic and digital payments are the best way to tackle fraud – such as VAT-fraud, money laundering, terrorism financing and counterfeiting money. Only a multilayer approach of interconnected and interdependent tools can keep payments safe, prevent attacks, and when breaches occur, minimize the impact.
Mastercard is developing the foundation of the digital age by establishing products, services and standards. We are making buying and paying for things easier, more secure, spanning multiple channels and providing access to new benefits.
Technology is key but regulatory activity is equally changing the payments landscape. Reducing fraud and building consumer trust is an objective that we share with regulators. At the same time, we need to keep in mind the important contribution that payments are making to economic growth, by making purchasing easier and more secure.
Last week, Member of European Parliament Dita Charanzová organized a technology showcase on the future of payments. The showcase brought together the European Parliament, European Commission and third parties around the latest payment innovations, and tangibly showed that digital payments can be both consumer-friendly and increasingly secure.
That is why we congratulate MEP Charanzová for initiating the dialogue and the thinking around innovation that this event has triggered for the benefit of society.
If the 4th industrial revolution is digital, the European payments landscape is part of it.