[Dave Birch] The GSMA’s NFC Technical Guidelines [PDF] point to the connectivity of mobile phones as an important countermeasure against fraud. If someone steals your phone you would certainly notice before you would notice if they stole your wallet, and once you have reported it stolen then the banks, transit operators and others can remotely disable or block the applications. Whether this statistic is true or not, the advantage of the mobile is clear:

‘The average time it takes before a person realises they have lost their mobile is around 25 minutes compared to the average time it takes for a person to realise they have lost their wallet which is around 1 day’

[From Ponderings of The Orange Cow…..: Mobile Payments – Are they Secure?]

What’s more, of course, when someone steals your credit card you have no idea where it is, but if someone steals your phone then the phone company knows exactly where it is. So there’s nothing inherently less secure about using a phone to pay. However, as a corollary, the payments guys need to understand the levels of security available on the mobile platform and the inter-relationship between the security of payment system and that platform. We can’t afford to have anything fall through the cracks.

The fact that mobile is central to the future of retail payments means that developments in mobile security have a real impact on the retail payments roadmap, so we were very happy to be asked along to the 4th Mobile Security conference in London on 18th-19th November 2008. As demonstration of their commitment to education and friendship amongst nations, the magnificent people at Informa have given me a two-day delegate pass for this event — worth an astounding ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE GREAT BRITISH POUNDS — to give away on this blog as a competition prize. So if you are going to be in London on those dates and you’d like to come along to hear the latest thinking in mobile security, then all you have to do is be the first person to respond to this post with the name of the biggest mobile phone manufacturer that once made toilet paper.

In the traditional fashion, this competition is open to all except for employees of Consult Hyperion and members of my immediate family, is void where prohibited and is preferred by 8 out of 10 cats. The prize must be claimed within one month. Oh, and no-one can win more than one of the Digital Money Blog prizes per calendar .

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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