At a round-table event organised recently by the Payments Cards and Mobile team, and attended by a number of payments and mobile specialists, I was struck by how the subject of identity theft has gone from being a niche occurrence problematic for a few to a genuinely mainstream concern. And not only for security officers and banks, but for mobile service providers too. One of those in the room volunteered that it was the one thing keeping him awake at night.
There are a number of challenges in securing the mobile channel. The smartphone is powerful, but a far less sophisticated environment than a PC, so it’s already easier to exploit. There is very little collaboration happening in the industry, meaning it’s often not clear exactly where responsibility for better security lies. One of the main challenges, however, in combating identity theft, is the consumers…
There is a lot of talk about the need for better education of customers, but while the industry has a responsibility to continue educating, education alone is never going to be enough to cure the problem. The reason? Because no matter how low you set the bar, some people will apparently continue to hand over personal information to virtually anyone who asks for it. This leads to fraud in a number of different formats, and as the mobile payment experts in the room at the round-table explained, it’s already causing them a major headache.
The only answer is to use technology to make sure both the consumers and the organisations providing the service are protected. The technology already exists to do this. It is mobile-based, works in real time and takes a multi-layered approach while not impacting customer experience.
The future growth in mobile payments is assured. Analysts estimate that $670 billion of such payments will be made by 2015, but unless the security of those payments is considered from the outset – by design – I predict there’ll be plenty more sleepless nights between now and then.
About Pat Carroll
Pat is a founding Director and CEO of ValidSoft. He has over 20 years of experience in Information Technology and Financial Markets.
Prior to founding ValidSoft, Pat was employed as Head of Electronic Trading Technology in Europe for Goldman Sachs International where responsibilities included technical strategy related to Electronic Trading, Client Connectivity and Straight Through Processing (STP). In addition, Pat co-headed European Equities Technology and was a technical advisor to the Investment Banking Division (PIA).
Pat has extensive Financial Services & technical experience (over 25 years) and has previously worked in a senior capacity with J.P Morgan, Credit Suisse Financial Products and Bankers Trust Company.
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