Dilemma between user experience and cybersecurity

Juggling between user experience (also, UX) and cybersecurity is an ever-increasing balancing act these days. It begs us in the merchant services industry the question: what do consumers of today really want?

But to even answer that accurately, we need to define and/or categorize our consumers broadly into two: the millennials (we dare to include the Gen Zers as well) and the baby boomers (including the earlier generations of course!).

Let’s face it, millennials love two things: convenience and instant results — which are quite synonymous actually. However, as more and more companies subscribe solely to the idea of delighting the younger generations without giving due consideration to their older counterparts risk losing both.

Here’s why. Suppose you focus on building your e-commerce infrastructure with ease and efficiency primarily in mind whilst putting security measures to a risky second priority. Your oh-so-great idea catches fire and becomes viral. Naturally, if big brands like Home Depot, Equifax and even banks attract and experience massive cyber attacks even with Tier 1 security protocol in place, you encounter one too. Suppose you did and your customers’ personal and financial information gets compromised and stolen. Just imagine the potential fallout of that incident. You get yourself in PR mess, customers stop pouring into your site, your brand equity could go down to almost zero, and before you know it, the competition makes a solid sweep off your once-loyal customer base to come to their fold.

A recent study done by Paysafe identified what consumers really want from their digital commerce experience. In general, these are the following:

1. Security above user experience

One can no longer take a carefree approach to securing financial and personal information especially with the wave of data breaches happening even in the most secure web environment supposedly.

2. Consumer data protection and transparency

Consumers young and old now value if they know how you are storing and using their information. Anything short of this will easily break their trust and will now start to see your company with skepticism if not cynicism. In other words, consumers are getting smarter by the day. Don’t even think about making a monkey out of them.

3. Innovative and watertight merchant processes

It’s always a cat-and-mouse game between regulators and cybercriminals. That’s why businesses should always be up-to-date with new innovations and protocols in place to avert a security breach. For some companies who have limited resources, it simply means getting a reliable and reputable payment processor with robust policies in place that can partner with them in ensuring seamless yet secure digital stations for their consumers.

At the end of the day, it’s all about communication. While it is difficult to change the mindset of the young to value security like their older peers do. It is the responsibility of the merchants to educate these new players to appreciate such wisdom of the old.

We usually hear the saying that one can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The reverse may not be true, however, given the right channels and methods of communication and understanding.