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What trends lie ahead for mobile payments?

April 6, 2016

Over the past few years, industry analysts have generally kept a close eye on the progression of mobile payments.

Over the past few years, industry analysts have generally kept a close eye on the progression of mobile payments. First they were tracking the movement toward such a payment option even being known by many shoppers, and next came the expectations for a broadening rate of adoption. But at this point, mobile payments just seem to be on the right path toward widespread adoption, and other trends are starting to develop around that fact at the same time.

One of the big issues in this regard is the question of the security of these emerging platforms, according to a report from Mobile Payments Today. As more consumers learn about these payment options, the big concern they have when it comes to adoption is more often than not about the security of these systems. And while such transactions are still far more secure than a traditional credit card purchase, or even those that utilize EMV security standards, there are still potential vulnerabilities that the industry needs to address.

As consumers set up their mobile wallets, security remains a concernAs consumers set up their mobile wallets, security remains a concern

Why is that important?
Data suggests that the number of mobile payments made across the country this year could rise to as much as three times the amount observed in 2015, and to that end many criminals will probably seek to exploit any vulnerabilities in these platforms, the report said. As such, developers, retailers, and even consumers have to ensure that they’re using the best practices when dealing with not only transactions, but also the setup of platforms, point-of-sale devices, and personal accounts.

A recent survey found that nearly 3 in every 4 retailers were concerned about mobile data being put at risk by mobile wallets, the report said. So while this is clearly a front-of-mind issue for many merchants, it’s also not one over which they necessarily have a large amount of control. Instead, developers will need to ensure that even if a mobile wallet account is hacked, other information from that device cannot be accessed. Worryingly, though, studies suggest that 20 percent of smartphone apps related to finance access calendar data and contacts, which can put more people at risk.

On the other hand
However, it is once again important to note that the additional layers of security a mobile payment platform adds to each transaction are significant, the report said. While all involved may be concerned about the security of these payment options, the fact remains that they put people and businesses alike in a better position to protect themselves and their data than just about any other option available, and security measures will continue to evolve in ways that older payment methods cannot.

To that end, the earlier merchants get on board with adoption of mobile payments, the better off both they and their customers are likely to be. This comes not only with respect to the security of each transaction, but also the convenience and simplicity of them.

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