Staying Secure in Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are gaining traction. Now, 52 percent of consumers are reporting that they are “extremely aware” of mobile payments according to a report by Accenture. This is up 9 percent from last year!  While currently only 19 percent of U.S. consumers use their mobile phones to pay in stores, millennials are driving this shift and mobile payments is expected to increase dramatically by 2020. With the mobile payments trend taking off, it’s especially important to make certain that you’re creating a safe and secure payments environment. With that in mind, we’ve compiled these tips for delivering a mobile payments solution that is safe and secure for both retailer and consumer alike:
 
1. Shop around. Not all mobile payment solutions are made equal. Make certain that your mobile payments solution is EMV capable and certified by the major card brands, adopts best practice security protocols for encryption, and has no notable breaches or flaws reported in the system.
2. Look for encryption. It’s not just a buzz word. Encrypted card readers use end to end encryption (E2E) to securely pass encrypted card data directly through to the payment processors in a secure encrypted format. 
3. A step further: tokenization. Tokenization, the process of replacing the card numbers with scrambled digits after the initial authorization, significantly reduces the risk of a user’s card number being stolen or misused. 
4. EMV – it’s here. Liability has shifted and merchants can be liable for fraud if they don’t utilize certified EMV card readers. If you haven’t yet upgraded to EMV, this is definitely a move worth considering, particularly as new readers are now available for mobile devices at extremely affordable prices.
5. Is your solution future-proof? You can expect that new threats and new ways to combat them will be released regularly. You should be using a solution that can push updates to your devices regularly, without the need to purchase new equipment. New solutions should support EMV, tokenization and encryption, while accommodating many forms of payment including NFC, chip cards and magnetic stripe cards.
6. Pick the right partners. Payments involve a lot of layers, and if you’re doing your best to be secure, you want to make sure your partners are too. Look for partners with a history of security and reliability. Your equipment vendors, software providers, processors, Gateway providers and other partners should all be working on the latest security standards and updates.
 
Security in mobile payments will always be evolving. By choosing the right equipment, the right partners and staying smart about security, you can put yourself in the best possible position when it comes to protecting valuable data and preventing a breach.
 
What are your tips for mobile payment security?
 
- Benjamin Hurley, Senior Director, Mobile Product Management