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Smartphone apps might not be most secure mobile payment method

February 20, 2012

Barclays recently launched a mobile app that would allow customers to send and receive money via mobile phones, but questions have been raised about the service's security.

Barclays recently launched a mobile app that would allow customers to send and receive money via mobile phones, but questions have been raised about the service’s security.

The Pingit app enables customers to transfer money without exchanging bank account information. Users would only need a phone number, and they won’t even be charged a fee.

However, Barclays doesn’t plan on covering the costs of users’ mistakes when sending money. If an individual incorrectly enters a phone number or transaction amount, the bank can’t be held responsible, but users will be able to report mistakes so the bank can try to retrieve funds, according to CNET. Even though the app includes some security measures, like PIN verification when launching the app, there are concerns that users could fall victim to phishing attacks.

Hackers can create apps that look similar to the Barclays program, which can trick users into entering account information on unsecured websites, said Tony Neate from Getsafeonline.org, according to BBC.

For customers and businesses that want the convenience of mobile payments, there are other options. Retailers can provide customers with mobile credit card processing and online payment terminals that can process electronic payments securely.

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