E-commerce has received an unprecedented boost due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The shift from physical transactions of goods to digital ones has become possible because of increased access to services that allow digital payments. However, with this ease of transactions comes the threat of insecure payment gateways, particularly when the transactions are cross-border. Indeed, cyber-criminals actively target cross-border payments due to their vulnerability.
To counter this major challenge, the World Economic Forum recently released a whitepaper. This whitepaper highlights four steps that countries should take to check the vulnerability of cross-border payments to financial crimes. Firstly, governments must work to eliminate market barriers for payment services. This will ensure that foreign firms are not discriminated against and that customers can use any cross-border payment service based on the markets they operate in. The government must also safeguard the free flow of data in a secure manner so that news of new services can reach the local markets.
Secondly, governments must also promote internationally accepted standards for digital payments so that these services are safe at all levels. Thirdly, it will also help to increase public-private partnerships on cybersecurity. This will help ensure that digital services follow cybersecurity standards and help mitigate threats and thwart fraud. Moreover, cross-border collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies can also help protect the financial interests of all consumers. Lastly, creating a health competitive environment for FinTechs that provide cross-border financial services can greatly improve standards and enable effective and coordinated oversight.