[Editor's Note: Like payments and fraud, the prediction business is inherently risky. So, it is with some trepidation that I ask experts in the space at the end of each year to weigh in on what to expect in the next. But, in the face of relentless uncertainty (and doesn't this year seem more uncertain than usual?) there are always a few courageous respondents willing to go on the record about the trends they believe will exert themselves in e-commerce payments and fraud. AI, real time payments and the demands of Generation Z are top of mind for industry executives this year. So good luck and best wishes for a prosperous New Year.]
Without a doubt, having a mobile first solution will be even more critical in 2019 should both physical and online retailers and banking institutions want to survive. Generation Z (those born between 1996 and 2010) were born into the era of the internet and mobile devices, and don't know life any other way. The oldest of this generation now are employed and have spending power. So, their demands have quickly driven societal expectations regarding how mobile technology should be recognized at virtually every consumer touch point — particularly within the retail and banking sectors. In fact, within the next four years, Gen Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers, and their expectations for fast, seamless and secure retail and banking experiences will be higher than ever.
Ronnie D'Arienzo, Chief Sales Officer, PPRO
Personalization and the merging of digital and physical commerce at levels we have not yet seen will mark 2019 and facial biometrics will continue to become a major focus in the payment space. Companies have done lots of work to further enhance the digital space when it comes to personalization, but have not yet cracked the physical space with the same degree of intrusiveness. The use of facial biometrics, specifically facial biometrics that are 100-percent unknown to the customer, will give merchants and businesses a way to definitively and passively track a physical user just as device id technology has done for the digital space. I expect to see more physical personalized advertising and physical in-store personalization as this technology grows.
Ryan Wilk, Vice President of Customer Success for NuData Security, a Mastercard company
Rusty Carter, Vice President of Product Management at Arxan
Attackers will become so sophisticated that they will be able to poison AI training data in such a way that it has a significant impact on how a fraud-detection algorithm learns. Fraudsters will create a huge amount of fake attacks, such as phishing or malware, that skew an algorithm's learning, causing it to believe that this is how attacks are working now. Then, they will be able to send a highly targeted attack that is not flagged by the newly poisoned AI algorithm, thereby avoiding detection and rake in profits.
Dr. Alejandro Correa, Chief Data Scientist, Cyxtera
"Real time" is at the epicenter of the trend world. Everything we are seeing is being driven by a need to be real time. In the payments space, we talk a lot about the new real-time payment schemes coming online globally, but this trend is way more than just the payment moving from point A to point B in real time—it's the data that comes along with the payment, or even when the payment is not moving in real time and having an ability to know in real time where the payment is or what is next on the payment value chain. In 2019, real time will continue to shape the discussion in payment circles, however I think the discussion will actually go beyond real time to predictive.
Mark Ranta, Global Head of Digital Enablement, ACI Worldwide
From intelligent ad placement to spot-on product recommendations, it's no secret that the eComm industry is an expert in successful personalization. The next year will see a natural extension of this customization—personalizing a customer's payment experience after they are done shopping and have hit the checkout button. For example, choosing the card that offers the best rewards or savings around a specific item they are purchasing online. Whether they are on Amazon, eBay or Best Buy's app, GenZers want their mobile wallets to think for them.
Mark Kilpatrick, CPO and Co-Founder, Urban FT
AI-driven chatbots will go rogue. In 2019, cyber criminals and black-hat hackers will create malicious chatbots that try to socially engineer victims into clicking links, downloading files or sharing private information. A hijacked chatbot could misdirect victims to nefarious links rather than legitimate ones. Attackers could also leverage web application flaws in legitimate websites to insert a malicious chatbot into a site that doesn't have one. In short, next year attackers will start to experiment with malicious chatbots to socially engineer victims. They will start with basic text-based bots, but in the future, they could use human-speech bots to socially engineer victims over the phone or other voice connections"
Corey Nachreiner, CTO, WatchGuard Technologies
Customer payment preferences continue to exert their power in 2019. On the transactions side, real-time payments will continue to gain traction as the call from consumers, regulators and tech companies gets louder and demand increases. Contactless payments will also continue to grow and indeed will gather pace as contactless and mobile merge. The U.S. and Europe both lag behind in this area. In the U.K., customers will wonder why they cannot just enter a PIN and continue a contactless payment regardless of whether the amount is over the £30 threshold. While in the U.S., banks will start to question why they gave in to Apple Pay quite so easily! As the battle to get top of digital wallet intensifies, keep an eye on how banks start integrating their own rewards programs and schemes into their digital platforms—especially mobile—as this will be the key to earning cardholder loyalty in 2019.
Mehmet Sezgin, CEO & Founder, myGini Inc
FinTech and banks seek out partnerships. FinTech companies can help financial institutions innovate and keep up with the latest technology, which changes rapidly. Financial institutions can help FinTech startups scale, build brand awareness and provide new channels to reach new customers. While this trend has already started, we see growing momentum in this area.
Daniel Choi, Head of Product and Co-Founder, Plastiq