The Security Issues With Mobile Payments

Consumers are increasingly shifting to mobile payments. A recent report from Trendforce - a market research organization - indicates that the global mobile payment market is forecast to reach US$780 billion by the end of 2017, amounting to an annual increase of 25.8%. While eCommerce businesses stand to benefit substantially by adopting mobile payments, many business owners are hesitant to because of security issues such as the following with mobile payments.

Malicious App Clones

These are apps purposefully designed to look like trusted, secure payment apps. They make it easy for criminals to capture sensitive personal information or to commit credit card fraud. Programs on cloned payment apps have very poor security that gives cyber criminals easy access to merchant systems, or may contain pre-installed malware that steals financial data processed through them.

Only a fraction of smartphone users install anti-malware tools, which means most users can’t detect malicious apps installed on their devices. The best way to protect your customers from these malicious apps is to discourage them from accepting or installing mobile apps originating from unfamiliar sources. Researchers are developing technologies and solutions that will make it easy to recognize malicious cloned payment apps.

Bad User Patterns

While you may have an advanced mobile app for your eCommerce store, there are customers who may still go to your website’s mobile version to place orders and make purchases. According to Riskified, a company that provides fraud prevention solutions, the vast majority of shoppers use the Safari and Chrome browsers to make browser-based payments, however, there are still shoppers who use the Android stock browser, which is the most abused by fraudsters.

You can prevent online shoppers from accessing your website through unsecure mobile browsers by urging them to use your mobile app or a safe and updated version of the browser. Consumers need to use a browser approved by the device manufacturer and should keep its security updated. Educating your customers about unsecure mobile browsers by sharing general tips on your site is a good way to remind them of safe online shopping habits.

Weak Authentication

Scammers mostly target mobile payment systems that have poor authentication tools. Any mobile payment system that shoppers use, including eCommerce browser apps and virtual wallets, should have multi-factor authentication - the process of identifying an online user by validating two or more claims presented by the user, each from a different category of factors. The best payment solutions convert a user’s credit card data into a token making it impossible for it to be read anywhere else.

Phishing Emails

The increase in phishing attacks poses a significant threat to all organizations. Email users continue to fall victim to emails that appear to come from credible senders such as banks and retailers where recipients are prompted to make an impulsive decision. To help protect your customers from phishing emails urge them to check that email addresses always match sender names. All eCommerce businesses should know how to detect some of the most common phishing scams if they are to keep confidential information secure.

Final Thoughts

Despite these security concerns with mobile payments, the growth of mobile usage is undeniably on the rise. It was estimated that the number of mobile users would reach 4.77 billion worldwide by the end of 2017. This makes it critical for security concerns involving mobile payments to be resolved.

A study aimed at evaluating trends in the mobile environment found that, with the rapid evolution of electronic payments, consumers in Nigeria are increasingly looking for faster, easy payment solutions that are more secure to pay for products and services. The study highlighted that of all the payment innovations consumers were most excited about digital wallets and contactless, personal payments.

Hackers and fraudsters are persistent and continuously modify their techniques to breach payment technologies, but if you stay abreast of the common security concerns you can keep your customers informed about these security issues.