The Future of Mobile Security: Understanding the Risk Environment for Mobile Payments The Future of Mobile Security: Understanding the Risk Environment for Mobile Payments

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November 8, 2013

Mobile technology is redefining the payment system, with new stakeholders and new ways to conduct payments and related services electronically.  The payments industry needs to understand the benefits and risks of mobile, particularly as they relate to the security and safety of the payments system and the impact on consumers.  As smartphone adoption continues to grow, and consumers conduct more financial transactions using mobile devices, security becomes paramount. There is sufficient time to analyze potential threats and vulnerabilities of mobile payments at the point-of sale (POS) in the U.S. because mobile payments are still in the early stages of the implementation life cycle. In January 2013, the Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW) met with mobile security experts to discuss potential vulnerabilities of mobile payments at the retail POS and how to mitigate these threats to create a safer and more secure mobile payments environment. The findings in this paper are based on that discussion and include the panelists’ views on:  hacking and other potential vulnerabilities to the POS system; security measures for POS terminals; the risk model for mobile payments; and the need to reinvent strong authentication.