Transition is a sweet spot in disruptive tech era

We are living through the biggest cultural shift in the several generations – disruptive tech era. Whether you hate it or not, your business will more likely than not be disrupted. And don’t even look at that kid next door, or in India, China or in Africa. It’s no ones fault, and its all of us that did it. It’s the access to highly accelerated and highly verifiable learning through the internet that made it happen.

What you knew how the things were always done is not valid any more

Snapchat, Uber, Periscope did not exist a short while ago, yet these are the tools of today. At the same time we still use telephone, taxis and news reporters. This advanced technology revolution driving unimaginable cultural changes is a sped-up evolution, while we learn and innovate.

Take the payments industry

Banks are still the kings, but on shaky ground now, under threat to be vaulted out by mobile (Apple Pay and Android Pay) payments directly from C2B, B2B or even C2C. While crypto currency drama continues, blockchain transaction platform is innovated for legit applications in #fintech industries to… counteract fraudulent tinkering with date stamps of shares ownership transactions, as an example. Mobile payments present huge security challenges, as a large number of foreign-manufactured smartphones’ models are shipped with pre-installed malware/firmware. Practically all smartphones have a backdoor software installed one way or another, and average consumer is not able to detect it. Early adopters of Apple Pay have seen already a number of fraudulent transactions.

Credit cards are still here, but machines processing them (including POS Point Of Sale terminals) changed several times in the last couple of years as retailers had to deal with massive hacking of both brick-and-mortar superstores and online eCommerce establishments. New threats have risen with NFC (Near Field Communication) and micro-scanners available to anyone who is interested in ‘reading’ your wallet while walking on the street or standing in a concert crowd. They created new opportunities for swift entrepreneurs to produce devices which are blocking those scanners, so consumers are somewhat protected again – if they are keen enough to know that they should be.

Although cheques as a payment instrument have been eliminated in Europe, they are still alive and well in Canada and US. Cheques provide pretty secure way of payment, comparing with mobile and credit card payments. Devil, as usual, is in details. Not the device, but what you do with it, is crucial for maintaining security. Cheques have tens of sophisticated security features, including the paper itself. Correctly practising payments’ security is more important than all these features.

Your fraud prevention list should include:

• Separate responsibilities to write/reconcile cheques
• Limit the number of official cheque signers
• Centralize cheque writing
• Conduct private, periodic security reviews
• Use audit programs
• Treat negotiable documents as cash
• Lock up valuable documents & processing equipment
• Use serial number on documents
• Use tamper-apparent packaging

and working together with your bank:

• Reconcile cheques promptly and look for alterations
• Use bank on line reporting/reconciliation
• Protect and shred account references

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