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Google Wallet Still Slowed by Security Concerns

July 19, 2012

The perception of inadequate security among consumers is a persistent issue with contactless payments, with trust in the Google Wallet app especially low.

The perception of inadequate security among consumers is a persistent issue with contactless payments, with trust in the Google Wallet app especially low.

Google recently suffered several blows with negative reports, one of which concerns a dispute between Google and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. CBA complained of an alleged lag in development of secure Android NFC technology, asserting that locally available Android smartphones do not have the “secure element” needed to safely process payment transactions enabled.

Without the secure element, the bank cannot offer secure NFC payments on Android handsets. Meanwhile, accompanying Google’s planned testing of its mobile wallet app at the Olympics is considerable buzz about fraud, with one type of attack attracting attention being “fuzzing.” In fuzzing, criminals feed corrupt or damaged data to a mobile app to unearth vulnerabilities, or inject crafted NFC tags to a phone and watch the results. Analysts say security has a bearing on a number of issues confronting Google as it strives to build a mobile payments network to compete with Isis and similar initiatives, as a series of publicized hacks that uncovered vulnerabilities has added credibility to critics’ warnings about Google Wallet.

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