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There’s never a good time for a security breach. Retailers would be wise to transition security software from classic encryption to tokenization as consumers limit online shopping due to fear of being hacked. A report released by Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing noted that fear of a safety breach dissuaded 50 percent of shoppers from purchasing items on their phones and 34 percent from shopping online.

Retailers and fashion apparel brands can find opportunities within mobile and online markets given that appropriate security measures are taken. Liaison Technologies, a cloud-integration and data-management solution company recently unveiled its Tokenization as a Solution, or TAAS, on its Liaison Alloy Platform. The new functionality mitigates security threats while facilitating more efficient data processing.

TAAS hosts an offsite vault storage for further security measures, backup functionality and recovery services. Rob Consoli, chief revenue officer of Liaison Technologies said, “If data is encrypted mathematically, it can be unencrypted mathematically. Tokenization stores data in a secure vault where we only hold the keys.” A data breach can hit a retailer hard. The study found that shoppers spend 39 percent less at a retailer following a hack.

And though transitioning to a new service might be daunting, consumers will respond positively to the update. Rekha Ramesh, senior vice president and global head of IT and digital at Daymon Worldwide said, “Retailers need to keep up with the technology advancement in providing a secured online experience. Payments are one of the key areas of concern for consumers.”

Customers aren’t simply searching for security, but also personalized enhancements during their perusing. Consoli said “With the continued focus on making e-commerce and seamless mobile shopping experiences, Liaison’s Alloy Platform helps streamline the flow and aggregation of data from multiple sources — internal applications, social media and personalized buying patterns — in order to provide each consumer a customized purchasing experience.”

Customized shopper attention from brands requires additional safety measures. “Data is a critical part of an omnichannel approach. The challenging side is protecting customer information whether it’s PII [personally identifiable information] or PCI [payment card industry standard], retailers have to be vigilant to protect those assets — a breach can destroy a reputation,” Consoli said. According to the report, nearly 75 percent of customers believe that keeping shopper information safe belongs to the retailer — not the bank.

To gain consumer trust, look to refreshing online and in-store messaging, especially after updating to a tokenization system. “Publicize proudly the tokenization partner, the partnership and their success. Assure consumers that the retailer isn’t storing the consumers’ sensitive data rather using the tokenization, which eliminates the exploitation possibility, thus preventing data breach and fraudulent transactions,” Ramesh said.

And news travels fast when you’ve been hacked. Access to a retailer’s security history is easily accessible to consumers. The report noted that 85 percent of shoppers are aware of companies that have had a security breach where consumers’ personal financial information was exposed.

What to do if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality? “It is important for the companies to provide transparency to the consumers after a breach. In order to provide the transparency, they need to know which data sets were compromised. Every company needs to know their vulnerability and a plan to address if and when a security breach occurs,” said Ramesh.

Consumers won’t be the only ones benefitting from a move to TAAS systems; internal workflow will be streamlined and entire retail supply chains will undergo a cost reduction. “Liaison’s Alloy Platform helps streamline internal processes by leveraging the cost savings that are realized from leveraging the cloud, while still providing enhanced security and protection of customer’s data. TAAS significantly reduces the audit costs associated with ensuring that a retailer’s internal systems are PCI compliant,” said Consoli.