The Guest Blog

Guest post by Paolo Battiston, Executive Vice President Digital Payments & Labs Europe, Mastercard

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 payments market.

On the one hand, the digital revolution is consumer-driven. In a permanently connected society consumers expect instant, high quality and reliable service from industry and government.

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 and if we are to truly realize a digital transformation then it must be built on a foundation of strong security and consumer protection.

October was “Cyber Security Month” in Europe and the U.S. and it’s a timely reminder that everybody, from citizens to government and industry has their part to play in ensuring security online.

However, 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 committed to developing the foundation of the digital age by establishing products, services and standards that ensure the highest quality service and the highest level of security and privacy.

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.

Ongoing EU level initiatives around cyber security, data flows and digital skills can enable a truly world class digital payments landscape in Europe that embraces innovation whilst ensuring the highest level of security and privacy.

If the 4th industrial revolution is digital, the European payments landscape is part of it.



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