Moving target

[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.


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