Mistrust and Ignorance Slows Down the Consolidation of Electronic Wallets in Costa Rica

    The recent activation of the Google electronic wallet in our country could eventually make this payment method more widespread, considering a greater penetration of the Android operating system compared to iOS

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    The ignorance of a certain part of the population about the use of the smartphone to pay in shops, as part of the consolidation of ‘contactless’ electronic means of payment, means that very few people still take advantage of this technological resource, according to experts consulted. “In all the paths towards innovation, it is common to find resistance to change at the beginning, due to factors such as fear or lack of knowledge, but as people become familiar with this type of technology, they will realize the facilities of use, security and its efficiency”, says Alejandro del Río, regional director of Paymentology for Latin America.

    Although many financial institutions have implemented this tool in their products through the ‘Apple Pay’ technology, the recent activation of the Google electronic wallet in our country could eventually make this payment method more widespread, considering a greater penetration of the Android operating system versus iOS. However, Apple’s solution is considered by experts to be more “mature” than G-Pay, as the former has a greater development in added values that generate reliability, which makes it more recommendable for use, says Francisco Vargas, Vice President of the College of Professionals in Informatics and Computing (CPIC).

    However, regardless of which operating system may apparently offer more or less security, it is the user who must ensure that they maintain strict surveillance controls over their information, such as applying double authentication to access their device, and including anti-malware programs to avoid theft of sensitive data by cybercriminals. “As in all types of transactions in cyberspace, the security that the user puts on their devices, the sites where they carry out transactions and the use of secure passwords can make a difference in the reliability of any electronic transaction system”, he comments. Miguel Pérez, director of the Cybersecurity School of the Cenfotec University.

    Likewise, the protection of information, data and user resources are essential points for businesses and customers, since the more businesses implement protocols of this type, the greater security the customer will have when adopting digital payments. “Having a ‘back office’ with a state-of-the-art technological ecosystem that issues verification codes, movement and transaction alerts to the holder, data encryption, unified product management, balance control and more, generates more confidence in the use of these payment methods”, explains Juan Pablo Jiménez, regional VP for Latin America at Mambu.

    By 2030, electronic payments in the world are expected to triple and exceed 3 billion transactions, according to the Payments 2025 &Beyond report, carried out by the PwC firm, with Latin America being one of the fastest growing regions in this area, as part of the digital transformation processes inherited by the pandemic. Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, 77% of electronic transactions are made via contactless payment, while more than half of the population has a credit or debit card, according to data provided by the Visa firm.

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