On April 9th, Sequent announced that our Digital Issuance platform had been approved by Visa. Why am I so pleased to have passed one of the most grueling security evaluations a commercial entity can suffer through? One that makes PCI DSS look like a vacation? Because what is stressful for us provides peace of mind for our customers.
Good security is hard. It takes time and resources away from designing and deploying the next BIG thing. It slows development, limits options, constrains flexibility, and costs a lot of money, resources and time. It is a heavy burden on any company, especially small and nimble innovators. Security is something everyone would gladly avoid.
But the consequences of not doing security right are massive. You can hope for the best, but should prepare for the worst. Once you have been breached and customer account information compromised, it is too late. This is especially true in the payments world.
Security must be built from the ground up, not bolted onto products and services after the fact. They must be designed to protect any data entrusted to them. Secure implementation should be pursued with the seriousness of a judge. Operations must be performed relentlessly. Audit and assurance must be executed with the detachment and thoroughness of a surgeon.
Top shelf security will be even more important for future products and services. As Cloud & HCE mobile payments emerge using host-based credentials, building them “right” – meaning securely – will be critical to their success. Security is important in all stages of these new products, from design to deploying from hardened hosting environments.
You can only build innovations in payments on a base of trust. Once you have a strong platform of security in place, new business models can emerge, new services and technologies can be deployed to revolutionize how consumers pay.
So why am I so thrilled to receive Visa approval? Because our efforts to build a secure base make it much easier for our customers to focus on innovation, differentiate their products and win in a competitive environment. And they can do that without losing (too much) sleep over what the bad guys are doing.