Mobile devices and applications have forever changed the ways in which businesses function, households operate and government agencies act. Smartphones, tablets and portable computers are more flexible and agile than desktops ever were. Now that trust in and adoption of mobile point of sale solutions are a reality, many are waiting to see how the market will play out by way of revenues, use and, perhaps most importantly, security.
Even before mobile devices and apps began to be used to complete transaction processing, the threat of fraud and identity theft was higher than it ever had been, as electronic payment processing and traditional credit cards were at risk of breach. Now, retailers, banks and payment processors will need to ensure that they are going about mPOS adoption, deployment and management safely to avoid being a part of the growing rate of fraud and cybercrime plaguing the financial market.
Warning from a pro
Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished Gartner analyst, recently published a blog post for the research firm on the rising risk of mobile payment fraud, affirming that ApplePay is already "running rampant" despite how new it is. She noted that the issue is certainly not only facing ApplePay, but this is a good example of how even the most advanced and innovative iterations of mobile payment capabilities can be the source of fraud in the modern market.
The prospect of securing mobile devices, apps and virtually any type of digital solution that handles sensitive data is often a lot to handle for retailers and payment processors. However, Litan had the following suggestion to retailers, as well as application developers who are working to iron out the security capabilities for their products before sending them to market:
"Identity proofing in a non-face-to-face environment is anything but easy, but there are some decent solutions around that can be stitched together to significantly narrow down the population of fraudulent transactions and identities (See our research note "Identity Proofing Revisited as Data Confidentiality Dies"). The key is reducing reliance on static data - much of which is [personally identifiable information] PII data that has been compromised by the crooks – and increasing reliance on dynamic data, like reputation, behavior and relationships between non-PII data elements."
So, perhaps a changing of the common mentalities among all users, providers and retailers can help to reduce the threat of fraud stemming from mobile payment and mPOS utilization.
Care comes first
One of the prevailing concerns among experts and analysts is that not enough attention is being paid to mobile payment security and relevant data management responsibilities. Some have even argued that retailers and others have become desensitized from breach and fraud, thus not putting much effort or budget into protecting systems, data and consumers.
However, being the source of a major data breach can be devastating, especially for smaller retailers that do not have much of a safety net to fall back on. Being proactive and choosing the right, secured mobile POS and payments platform can go a long way in protecting customers and brands themselves from modern threats.