The pace of payments innovation seems to constantly speed up. Just when you think you have figured out how to incorporate the latest gadget or technology into your roster of payments options, consumers demand yet another payment option.

A retail payments strategy is essential for merchants to stay on top of these changes. A recent study conducted by Retail Systems Research takes a closer look at the major drivers behind this strategy. The RSR polled 177 retailers with 81% of them were based in the US.

From the study’s responses, it looks like the last few years of data breaches, theft and fraud have taken their toll on retailers. When asked what factors drive their payments strategy, 53% of the retailers singled out minimizing data breach risk and 52% pointed to protecting customer payment data as their top concerns when it comes to retail payments.

Which makes sense. Even with EMV making its way to US shortly, merchants can’t depend on it to solve all of their fraud and security problems. So merchants need to stay on their toes and continue to search for ways to keep the thieves at bay. Yet they must also balance the need for security with staying on top of payments innovations in order to offer the speed and service that customers have come to expect over the past few years.

Our CEO Benny Nachman touched on this point in his recent interview with Jeff Peters, host of the Cybercrime and Business Podcast:

But when fraud goes up, and it includes not only loss of money but also public perception of trust, this starts to become a problem for banks and retailers. If people start to feel that their credit cards aren’t secure, they will start to use them less. In this situation, it makes more sense to invest in security upgrades and move towards more secure solutions.

One of the things you see in the last number of years is the vast number of attacks and how successful and easy they are. These attacks have really increased public awareness and concern about security issues. Hopefully, just as the public was motivated to increase online payment security, the public will push banks and retailers to secure offline transactions as well.

It is our hope that as payments technology continues to develop, merchants will be able to offer customers the best of both worlds when it comes to payments – both security and convenience.