Post-truth. Xenophobia. Surreal. Bigly. Those are just a few of the words that have summed up 2016. Regardless of your favorite word to describe 2016, it has been quite a year filled with a number of major events that will influence years to come. And just when you think 2016 was done with surprises, it drops another.
While we had so many to choose from, we highlighted the top five events that shook the year so hard, the reverberations are set to impact the financial tech industry throughout 2017:
- Brexit: One of the hallmark events that took 2016 by storm was Brexit, where over 50 percent of British voters supported Britain’s exit from the European Union. It’s been a few months since the referendum, so uncertainty remains, and will likely continue throughout 2017 as the British navigate the complexities of exiting. What we anticipate is new regulations and treaties with each European country, meaning vast implications for doing business in the UK and larger challenges for merchants as they conduct business across borders.
- US Election: The ups and downs of the US election dominated headlines throughout the year, ending with a shocking president-elect. Donald Trump’s surprise win has many new policy implications that won’t come into clearer view until the start of his presidency. While the tech industry has roiled in response, we still anticipate innovation within the financial tech industry to continue, perhaps with new light shed on who entrepreneurs are developing technology and for whom they are developing it. As the new president’s policies take shape – including implications over data and international collaboration – the industry will have to react accordingly.
- Samsung Galaxy Note Explosion: Some of the year’s events were just plain explosive. Only a month after its initial unveiling in August, Samsung recalled millions of its new Galaxy Note 7 due to battery issues that caused the device to explode, ultimately leading the smartphone maker to discontinue the device series completely. The fallout from the recalls have continued to plague the company, and will likely have a halo effect that will also slow down the expansion of Samsung Pay. We anticipate Apple Pay to take the lead over Samsung Pay in the mobile payments race, especially with its expansion into Japan and Russia this year. However, eastern European countries are home to the development of popular tools used by cybercriminals all over the world, so Apple Pay will likely become a significant target for these groups and a major testing ground for Apple Pay’s security measures and mobile payments overall.
- Yahoo’s Data Breach: Yahoo had not one but two record data breaches announced this year, both of which took place over two years ago. They are considered two of the biggest single breaches of a company that we know of – compromising as many as 1.5 billion users and stolen data used over the last several years – with repercussions unfolding well into 2017. What happens to Yahoo will set a precedent for how companies handle data breaches and how consumers react to them, especially with its deal to be purchased by Verizon, as stakeholders will now be able to measure how much a data breach may cost them. This may be the impetus to ramp up security among companies, or just lead consumers into even more apathy.
- EU-US Privacy Shield: Designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and European Commission, the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework for protection of transatlantic data transfers just passed this year to replace the now-discarded Safe Harbour Privacy Principles, which were declared invalid in October 2015. This new framework requires companies align closely with EU data protection requirements including: strong obligations on companies handling data, clear safeguards and transparency obligations on US government access, effective protection of individual rights, and an annual joint review mechanism. It’s a jolt that will help increase fraud prevention and data protection for businesses and consumers. Especially as the amount of data continues to grow and be utilized for a number of business purposes, we anticipate efforts for data protection to increase significantly and demand that the financial tech companies that manage transatlantic data, do so as well.
While many of these events will have ramifications that impact the industry well beyond 2017 – some we can and can’t anticipate – one thing is clear, fraudsters will always take advantage of vulnerabilities that arise, especially those at a national or international level. Businesses must make sure they’re protecting themselves and their customers when it comes to sensitive data and personal information. That’s a new year’s resolution they should be keeping all-year round. Check out our eBook below to ensure that you are well-equipped to fight the 9 deadly costs of fraud – no matter what 2017 has in store.