Blog

Mobile payments could add convenience if card lost or stolen

February 25, 2016

Across the country, millions of people may have their credit and debit cards stolen on a regular basis, either physically or virtually, and that can create a major hassle for them.

Across the country, millions of people may have their credit and debit cards stolen on a regular basis, either physically or virtually, and that can create a major hassle for them. First they usually have to call or visit their bank to let them know about the theft, then wait a few days before they actually receive their new card. If they’re lucky, they may get a temporary replacement, but that’s not always the case. Now, experts say that all this rigmarole can be done away with via the use of mobile payment platforms.

This is because with a mobile wallet app, a person may be able to report suspicious activity, or simply that their card has been stolen, directly to the bank, which can then reduce the turnaround time on a replacement considerably, according to a report from the Payments Review. Often, the turnaround time might even be able to be near-instantaneous after a review of the account data. But even beyond that, there’s the fact that mobile payments use a process known as tokenization to attach a unique card number to each device.

Mobile payments could bring added security and convenience when a credit card is stolen.Mobile payments could bring added security and convenience when a credit card is stolen.

What does that mean?
In effect, this means that while a person may have a certain credit card number they are familiar with and which they load into their payment platform, they’re essentially being given a different one every time they make a purchase using their mobile device, the report said. And because of that, while payments on the physical card itself might be shut down, those on the phone or other device could continue unabated, further reducing the inconvenience and worry that comes with traditional credit and debit card theft.

On the other hand, if a phone or other device is stolen with the mobile payment info on it, that “token” can likewise be shut down quickly and easily as well, the report said. And similarly, such a move wouldn’t end up impacting other devices which may have the mobile payment information on them, or the physical card itself.

What comes next?
Of course, that’s only likely to come in something of a transitional phase for mobile payments, the report said. Mobile payments haven’t gained much traction overall yet, and further adoption will likely bring being able to use a card with little inconvenience even after data is stolen closer to being a reality. But as time goes on, and more people and retailers alike start using these platforms – as provided not only by tech companies, but by financial institutions as well – the more widespread this type of assurance will become. Eventually, most experts foresee a future in which physical cards simply aren’t issued very much any more.

The more that retailers can do to get in front of this trend, then, the better off both they and their customers are likely to be in terms of convenience and added security for all transactions. Mobile payments are the wave of the future, and those who get in close to the ground floor could stand to benefit most.

Back To Blog