Is Mobile Payment Processing Safe?

  • November 14th, 2014
  • Ezra Gabay

With Apple Pay really moving the industry forward, is it a feasible and secure form of payment?

If your customers are like many smartphone users, they use apps to purchase products and services from their favorite businesses. After all, why pull out a card and risk fraud when mobile payment makes life so much faster and easier?

With every passing year, mobile payments are becoming the go-to choice for savvy consumers on the go. Multiple sources report that the number of mobile wallet app purchases is estimated to total $35 billion by 2017, so it’s inevitable that there will be a data breach somewhere — right?

Mobile Apps, Security and You

Tech savvy, fraud-averse consumers use mobile payment apps such as Square Wallet, Square Cash and Venmo to speed payment. They also get extra protection. Square Cash is an email-enabled payment exchange while Square Wallet uses GPS and photo technology to link a purchase to the balance in your bank account.

Although the appeal of a clerk at your favorite local shop recognizing your photo is undoubtedly helpful, a GPS link that matches your phone’s location with your purchase assures legitimacy with greater certainty.

Do You Trust Your Favorite Stores?

Mobile payments are as safe as credit card payments — assuming the stores or businesses where your customers shop encrypt sensitive payment data such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, expiration dates and more. Business owners who take extra steps to protect customer payment data with reputable, powerful mobile payment security technology are more likely to weather breaches safely than others.

Even the most popular businesses — such as Starbucks — sometimes discover their payment processing partners are not safely transmitting customer data, however.

Mobile payment is a relatively new technology. That means hackers have less skill at breaking into private mobile accounts versus stealing credit card numbers, bank account numbers and other confidential information. With the new Apple Pay mobile payment system, for example, each transaction is assigned a unique code that safeguards confidential customer payment data. Unless someone steals your phone, the risk that a hacker will access your data through your mobile payment processor is small.

Taking Extra Precautions

There are a number of ways to boost mobile payment security. Making and frequently updating a PIN access code for your phone is an effective first line of defense against fraud. Always choose password access, and request electronic receipts following every purchase.

Your customers can also protect themselves against fraud by reconciling purchases against receipts before a mistake becomes part of an unsure, hazy memory. Reporting payment problems immediately is of the utmost importance, and especially for large purchases. Although electronic funds transfer laws also govern your mobile payment, your customers’ personal liability increases as time passes.

Mobile Payments Are Safe and Convenient

Mobile payment apps are safe and convenient. They also let your customers enjoy the same rewards they would if they used a debit or credit card to pay. They’re free, and in the case of Apple Pay, extremely secure. Although your customers may not use a mobile payment app now, it won’t be long before they try it. They’ll probably be hooked by how easy — and safe — it is.

About the Author

  • Ezra Gabay
  • Ezra Gabay

Ezra Gabay has extensive experience in the financial services industry and currently serves as president of Native Merchant Services, LLC. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow their business by working smarter. Ezra writes about business finance, strategy, and technology.

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