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#Digital #Annual Report

How digital payment will become ever more secure and convenient

Annual Report
10 Mins.

With such a variety of digital payment options already available, is further innovation likely? Giesecke+Devrient, a global leader in security solutions for cards and digital payment methods, has teamed up with software specialist Netcetera to deliver just that. For our customers and consumers, the result will be even greater security and convenience

 

“In 2020, G+D and Netcetera entered into a strategic partnership that is proving to be much more than just the sum of its parts,” says Gabrielle Bugat. A member of the senior management team at G+D, she is responsible for the smartcard business and digital payment security. G+D has acquired a 30 percent stake in Netcetera. The Switzerland-based specialist for bespoke software and digital payment methods has expanded rapidly since it was founded in 1996 and provides solutions for mobile payment, mobile banking, and smart mobility. In addition to some 2,000 banks and financial services providers – among them MasterCard and Switzerland’s largest bank – Netcetera’s customers include e-commerce providers and transportation companies. “In terms of service portfolio and customer structure, G+D and Netcetera are an excellent fit. This will enable us to benefit from each other’s strengths and capture a bigger share of the fast-growing digital payments market,” says Netcetera CEO and co-founder Andrej Vckovski.

The two partners operate in a dynamic environment. The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely accelerated the existing trend towards online shopping and digital and contactless payment, either by card or by Near Field Communication (NFC) on a smartphone. “Demand for banknotes has increased during the pandemic, but we’ve also seen a boom in digital payment transactions since the start of 2020. That trend is very likely to continue after Covid has been conquered,” says Bugat. G+D and Netcetera both firmly believe that providers with solutions that combine security and user-friendliness will be the ones to gain an attractive share of the market.

“When people use digital payment methods, they want to have the same peace of mind as when they pull a banknote out of their wallet,” says Bugat. Vckovski adds: “It’s like the chicken and egg scenario: customers use a digital payment method if it’s widely accepted, familiar, and straightforward. At the same time, further expansion of mobile payment options boosts customer confidence. The common denominator in this equation is convenience. If people find digital payment easy and practical, they’ll use it more frequently.”

Going forward, G+D and Netcetera are set to provide more easy, practical, and secure solutions. Banking is one of the areas they will focus on. If a bank wants to remain competitive, it will need to offer customers a full range of payment options in the future. High ATM density ensures a ready supply of cash. Cashless payments can be made using payment cards and card functions on smartphones. Additionally, phones can serve as digital wallets for managing payments and storing things like customer cards, loyalty cards, and shopping coupons. The CONVEGO® wallet solution created by G+D in 2017 for Dutch bank Rabobank even allows users to find and pay for parking spaces in the city center automatically. Juniper Research predicts that half the world’s population will have a digital wallet by 2024. “People who want even more will be able to use their cell phones for a full range of banking services, including digital transfers, loan applications, and video meetings with customer advisors,” says Vckovski.

The many options for digital payment

G+D and Netcetera are also a perfect match in the fast-growing e-commerce market. Netcetera provides software solutions for online payment, while G+D specializes in secure payment transactions. On January 1, 2021, Strong Customer Authentication (using the EMV® 3-D Secure protocol) became mandatory across Europe for all retailers taking card payments online. “Thanks to a secure payment transaction process, a click of a button is all that will be needed to make a purchase on the Internet,” says a delighted Bugat. Use of tokenization is also on the increase. Tokenization is the process of replacing personal credit card details with a secure code. It means sensitive customer information, such as a credit card number, no longer has to be transmitted between customer and retailer via the Internet. In addition, the card expiry date and verification code can be updated automatically.

A third customer segment shared by G+D and Netcetera is transit and mobility. “During our partnership negotiations, we discovered that we both work for a large Swiss mobility provider,” recalls Vckovski. When one of the customers buys a travelcard, G+D’s CONVEGO® me solution securely verifies their identity via a smartphone or computer camera. The tedious process of filling out paper-based application forms and going to the ticket office in person is now a thing of the past. Netcetera, meanwhile, supplies a complete software system for planning the entire rail transport network.

  1. EMV® is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. The EMV trademark is owned by EMVCo, LLC.

Acquiring a stake in Netcetera is G+D’s biggest investment of the last ten years. In all of our four business areas of Payment, Connectivity, Identities, and Digital Infrastructures, exciting synergies are apparent that will help us benefit from the dynamic growth of these markets. In addition, G+D remains committed to its own research and development efforts, as demonstrated by our cutting-edge solution for a central bank digital currency, Filia®. All of these activities will enable G+D to continue growing successfully as a technology leader for securing physical and digital assets.

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