The global financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have a very problematic and long-term impact on not just the people but the processes and policies all over the world as well. A good example would be the payments industry which already experiences greatly disadvantageous pandemic-related issues, with other industries and markets sure to follow way before we can even begin to recover and although current level of uncertainty still makes it basically impossible to predict what the new norm will be for everyone of us, indications of where the market is heading is showing clear as day.
There will most likely be new legal and regulatory requirements for the payment industry in addition to, but not only because of, consumer driven changes. Although there is no question that payments are already an “essential service” and a permanent part of our world today that must be preserved during an emergency, regulators should still demand the industry-specific and enhanced protection plans for it. Protocols for both consumer and merchant, data privacy and security efforts, as well as an increase in Business Continuity Plan rigor and testing are all a must for the payment industry to survive the current crisis and take advantage of future opportunities that may yet come.
The coronavirus pandemic already showed the world the need for better payment testing and as such, the payments industry must evolve more rapidly. Certain people, companies and indutries may have been better prepared than others to navigate through the COVID-19 emergency (such as the mask suppliers and streaming companies making a killing even out of everything that happened) but every financial services company should most certainly find whatever gaps in their processes they can find that need to be addressed before the next time this kind of situation hits, if ever the world fully recovers from this current one.
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