The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the thought leader as an individual, and are not attributed to CeFPro or any particular organization.
By Jim Maimone, SVP, Senior Enterprise Payments Platform Product Manager, Citizens Bank
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the risk of payments innovation?
COVID-19 presented everyone with challenges that may have not been contemplated in business resumption plans and payment risk contexts. Initial concerns about transmission of the virus challenged businesses to think of every conceivable transmission method, including checks, invoices, shipping documents – and even working from home considerations. These were risks above and beyond considerations and even increased awareness to check fraud, man-in-the-middle attacks, system hacks, etc. In addition, operational risks had to be considered with remote working and reduced onsite personnel.
COVID-19 has had some positive impacts on business and consumer payments by accelerating shifts that were already under way. As uncertainty circled around transmission of the virus, companies and individuals shifted toward “touchless” payments and processes. For corporations, remote check printing became a focus for a number of reasons: restrictions on travel to/from the office, not wanting to handle checks or requirements by local governing bodies. This helped focus attention on the efficiencies gained by outsourcing: dynamically printed checks (no check stock lying around needed to be protected from theft); automated positive pay processes; and remote online exception review processes and positive pay decisions. For individuals, e-wallets became more popular so shopkeepers didn’t have to come in contact with cash from strangers, but could still deliver good service.