Though the door to opportunity may open through this technology, it also presents vulnerabilities.
The American smartphone payments market is being powered primarily by small businesses that are using this technology to save money and offer convenience to their customers but it is also opening these companies up to a number of mobile security risks.
At the same time, this industry is only expected to continue to grow over the next few years.
Forrester Research has predicted that payments over devices such as smartphones and tablets will increase explosively from last year’s $12.8 billion to $90 billion in 2017. Much of that will be powered by small businesses and their use of wallets, such as Google Wallet, and other payments services, such as Square.
The mobile security risks will, unfortunately rise alongside the increasing use of this technology.
As a result, the offline, internet and mobile Security Standards Council has announced new guidelines for merchants who are currently – or who intend to begin – accepting payments over smartphones and tablets which were not specifically created to be a point of sale. This effort was expanded by a company called Insureon – an online insurer for very small businesses – which released a checklist to further assist those small and micro companies in keeping sensitive data safe.
Though there are many benefits to using mobile payment solutions for small merchants, these various services each come with their own mobile payments risks that have led those businesses to experience a higher rate of fraud than both brick and mortar shops and online stores. This claim was confirmed by a survey performed by Javelin Strategy and Research.
According to Insureon CEO, Ted Devine, “Small and micro businesses constantly struggle to contain costs while making purchases easier for their customers.” He went on to say that “Mobile payments can offer a great solution that balances those interests. However, accepting mobile payments also opens small-business owners up to a number of liability risks.”
The entire industry is recommending that small businesses take special care and precautions to mitigate their mobile security risks in order to protect themselves against the potentially extensive damage that could occur should a cyber attack occur through these devices.