As mobile commerce begins to gain momentum among consumers, some major credit card companies are developing mobile apps that will boost the security features of NFC-enabled smart phones. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are all investing in NFC-powered mobile transaction, believing that the mobile commerce will become a favored payment medium in the future. Mobile commerce has been plagued with concerns over security, however, leaving many questioning whether the industry will ever become established.
The security issues inherent in mobile commerce are quite glaring. Given that financial information must be stored on smart phones before they can be used in such a way, consumers have been slow to accept the concept of contactless payments. If a phone were to be stolen, for example, the thief could have access to all the financial information contained on that device. Google, whose mobile wallet sparked much of the hype surrounding NFC payments, says that the phones will be built with integrated security measures, but the major credit networks are not inclined to take chances.
Visa is already hard at work on their security suite called PayWave, which will help smart phone users protect their financial information by utilizing the payment industry’s highest level of encryption technology. The other credit companies have similar programs in development.
Each company is working closely with Isis, a mobile commerce coalition comprised of Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile. Together, the companies are hoping to make a vast array of security programs that will ensure that mobile commerce is as safe as it can be.