| | NOVEMBER 20198PAYMENTS GOING DIGITAL IN INDIA: DATA SECURITY VITAL TO SUCCESS By Nitin Bhatnagar, Associate Director, PCI Security Standards CouncilHolding a Master's in Cyber Law & Information Security from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Nitin held the role of Associate VP at SISA Information Security, prior to joining PCI in 2018.Innovations in payments technology are changing the way Indians make payments. Barriers to adop-tion of digital payment methods for businesses and consumers have continued to decrease in recent years, and as India becomes a less-cash economy, digital transactions have risen by approximately 440 percent over the last three years. This represents an enormous shift in India's payments ecosystem, and for entrepreneurial small business owners, the possi-bility of a more socially and geographically diverse customer base signals new opportunities for success. However, reaping the benefits of this huge shift towards digital payments is not as easy as simply adopting the technology and doing business. It is vitally important that business leaders and decision makers take the necessary steps to implement data security standards that help prevent data theft, en-sures cardholder data remains secure, and paves the way to further adoption by addressing the concerns of the public.Digital Payments Continue to Gain TractionSince Indian banknote demonetisation began in 2016, a vast number of Indian consumers have been adopting digital payment methods such as electronic fund transfers, card payments, and mobile banking. In fact, as of April 2019, there are 884.7 million deb-it cards and 48 million credit cards in circulation in India, with over three million merchants in India ac-cepting payments. As a result, businesses have begun to react to these changes, more readily accepting dig-ital payments, and there are now over three million merchants in India accepting digital payments.To accommodate this, innovative payment solu-tions such as the use of smartphones for making and accepting payments have become increasingly im-portant. The transaction value of mobile Point of Sale payments in India has been growing exponentially and is expected to grow by over 50 percent each year until 2023 and business owners are keen to make the most of this. Security is the Key to Harnessing the OpportunityDespite the growth opportunity of digital payments, businesses that operate without a secure payments infrastructure represent an opportunity for cyber-criminals and hackers, who are well-equipped and relentless at finding avenues to steal data where the correct precautions have not been taken.Every company should operate with an appropri-ate security framework to help protect their business from data theft. For smaller businesses and entrepre-neurs, this is particularly important, as efforts can understandably be focused on business development and management, while critical priorities like pay-ment data security are treated as secondary priorities.Fortunately, there are clear steps that can be tak-en to help businesses protect customer payment data and solutions available to help them. For example, the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) provides a foundation of security controls that when imple-mented and continuously monitored offers the best protection for payment card data before, during and after a purchase is made. Any business that stores, processes and/or transmits cardholder data should continually apply controls specified in the PCI DSS. Additionally, for the increasing number of busi-nesses relying on smartphones and tablets to accept payments, PCI SSC provides security standards for THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
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