Submitted by CyberHub Summit on Thu, 06/21/2018 - 14:45
Beefing up, on-the-go payment security systems.
Beefing up, on-the-go payment security systems.

With the conversion of 90% of in-store terminals from swipe card tools to EMV chip technology, the gateway to ever increasing mobile payments has swung wide open. So, has the entrance to more virtual security problems at the point of sale.

Although the technology was built to avoid the more traditional methods of fraud, mobile payment systems fostered by EMV chip technology bring their own issues.

EMV explained

EMV (the abbreviation of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, and the same credit card giants who dominate the payments industry) developed a chip – based payment system to improve on

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traditional models and dramatically reduce the fraud incident rate.

It worked! EMV terminals dominate in-store payments and now signify every credit card with chip terminal, even those issued by other companies. In stores, these mobile payments are enabled by a technology called NFC, which stands for “near field communication.”

NFC explained

NFC allows your cell phone and the reader to connect and process the payment when they are 'near' each other, by near, we mean 2-3 inches. It's a similar process to scanning food at a grocery store.

Moreover, it gives merchants a platform for a next generation in payment methods and the option for other technology that can be applied in many ways.  

In the main, this is because it enables NFC (Near field communication) and eases the transition to contactless payment systems. Hemal Nagarsheth from A.T. Kearney commented that the major credit card networks announced that signature payments are 'being phased out; NFC is allowing Retailers to ensure a smooth checkout and think about APIs'.

Mobile Payments

For anyone not already using or accepting mobile payments, mobile payments are regulated digital transactions that are executed through your mobile device.

They are speedy and convenient because they can be paid through a mobile wallet, a downloaded app. They also add a certain level of security to the transaction as your details are stored in the wallet and don’t rely on a signature or swipe which are predisposed to fraud.

For retailers, they are a goldmine as we all know that if your next customer has downloaded a payment app, he has access to his credit cards. A purchaser may forget their wallet, their car keys but their cell phone?

In 2018, it's not likely.

Once the mobile payment app is installed it uses NFC to enable transactions between mobile and product, in store. Some of the more popular apps that you have probably heard of (or use) are: PingIt, Swish Payments, Apple Pay and Google Wallet


Downloaded apps? credit card details stored in your phone? The alarm bells should be ringing for us security enthusiasts. Maybe the fraud rate will drop exponentially, but don't expect cyber criminals to avoid this money-spinner.

Unsurprisingly there has been a paradigm shift in how online payment methods in the past few years are being discussed, with the spotlight heavily pointing at the security of mobile payments. This has focused on MFA( Multi- factor authentication) and biometrics. Inculcating both of these security features in to mobile payments may slow down the process (imagine having to send an SMS, give a finger scan or voice recognition and finally holding your phone over the card reader) but provide a much-needed level of security at the time of transaction.

The added security elements give consumers the ability to feel confident making more transactions, at any place or point

With everyone scrambling to grab their slice of the virtual NFC payment pie, the growth of both multi-factor authentication and biometrics are proving key in providing a more solid layer of security for mobile payments.