Mobile payments have indeed made our life easy. They are more convenient and safer compared to cards and cash. However, the question is whether they are theft-proof completely? Can no one steal your money stored in the wallets?
For a while now, people have been divided into two schools of thought. One that believes the mobile payments are safe and should be used because of the convenience they offer, and the second that believes that mobile payments are quite risky and should be avoided.
The statistics show that the global use of mobile app payments is likely to go up by 22% by 2022, which is definitely going to be more than the credit card or cash payments.
The global mobile payment transactions will be worth more than £3.5 trillion by 2023, following growth of 33.8% CAGR between 2017-2023.
Owing to the increased number of payments happening through mobile wallets, and the convenience they offer, mobile payments seem to be the going norm. So, do you think the second school of thought that is wary of the security the payments offer is wrong? Not entirely! A lot of us have definitely faced frauds or chargebacks as a result of using mobile wallets. In some cases, the data is not secure, which is why our private data such as phone number and email addresses are shared with other people, which can be a cause for concern.
Let’s break this down for you further.
Compare a mobile wallet payment to cash or credit card. You will feel that it is definitely safer. For one, the cards have numbers on it that are used to complete the transaction. When you are entering the digits, someone can easily look at it, copy the card and use these numbers to complete transactions elsewhere.
Committing fraud with the card is very easy. Similarly, when you look at cash transactions, there is no way to find out a transaction was ever made when you look at cash.
Secondly, mobile wallets come with a high level of encryption which is definitely not easy to break down or hack into.
Having said this, we will not say that mobile wallets cannot be hacked. That’s not true! In fact, hackers can get into your wallets, siphon off all your money and leaving you penniless.
How? All they need to do is get into your smartphone’s brain, and for that, they will need to steal it away.
Here, we will talk about all the risks involved in mobile payments and how to evade them.
1. Your Mobile Phone is Stolen
This is the biggest risk you may face if you are regular with mobile wallets. Your mobile phone is like an entire banking system for you, and losing it can be quite a dreadful affair. You don’t just have your wallets, but also information to your banking systems and other biometric code on the phone.
Losing your phone is not an abnormal affair, and it does occur quite often. So, how do you cover up for such a risk?
The one thing that you ought to do when using a mobile phone is to introduce the two-factor authentication to your smartphone at the beginning. After all, when there are two ways to unlock your phone i.e. biometric plus pin, then you will find it to be easier to protect your phone. You can even add image recognition to the security of the mobile wallet. In the case of mobile wallets, you have tokenization i.e. randomly generated tokens are used to encrypt the user’s data. This token cannot be used by the hackers, even if they went into your system. Apart from that, if you have secured your mobile phone, then there is no chance that they can actually get the mobile data or any information from your banks. A combination of these two security solutions can prevent your data from getting hacked, even when you have lost your mobile phone.
2. Infecting Malware to Steal Data
The second way mobile data or wallet data is stolen is by inflicting the wallets with malware that can infect the phones and the data within. It makes the phone and the wallets vulnerable, and the hackers can easily get to it.
When does your phone gets infected by malware? One, when you tend to click on some phony messages or links that you have received or, you went from a sketchy ad to a website that resulted in a download of the malware to your phone. The malware can make you enter the banking details, masking the bank’s app, thus getting to your mobile wallet details.
The question is how will you avoid this malware infliction to your phone?
While the banking app will ensure that there is enough security on its own app, there is no way that the third-party apps are going to be secure. If you have been sent a link from an unknown person or application, then make sure not to click on it. Whenever you are browsing the web, do look into the URL so that you don’t click on any phony ones and fall prey to the phishing scams.
3. Stealing Through Unsecure WiFi
If you have been adding multiple credit/debit cards to your mobile wallet, and have been using the public wifi to complete this task, you are definitely becoming vulnerable to the growing number of cyber frauds. The hackers are sitting, eagerly waiting to steal the card details, and the main source is the public Wifi domain. These people recreate the mobile wallet’s registration system and allow you to enter details once again so that they can record them, and steal all your private information.
You should avoid both public Wifi and weak passwords when using mobile wallets. You can use the VPN when needed to increase the protection of your mobile wallet. Secondly, use mobile password managers to ensure that your password is strong, and you don’t have to worry about being hacked.
Mobile wallets are being increasingly used by a certain segment of people, and they seem to prefer the convenience it tends to offer. However, the security concern regarding the use of these wallets is huge, and slowing down its growth. Both the wallet developers, and the people using it have to strive hard to make the wallets that are hard to compromise, and ensure that none of the external factors can affect the wallet’s security and encryption.
So, take into account these risk factors, and ensure complete safety when using or developing a payment gateway. Go cashless but, securely!
Author Bio:- Sourodip Biswas works with a team of experienced mobile app developers at Space-O Canada, a leading mobile app development company Toronto. He spends his time researching technologies and mobile apps. His work has been published on various distinct blogs across the web.
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