Thales Blog

Consumer Awareness Of Mobile Payments Security Is Growing

October 19, 2011

This latest survey from Intersperience shows how aware consumers are and how much importance they are placing on security. The survey focuses on the more often talked about side of mobile payments security – the possibility of data being compromised on the phone or intercepted mid-transaction. However, as my colleague has talked about in previous posts, there are a number of other security considerations that are not as widely reported.

Firstly, as well as protecting the payment app in the device, the industry also needs to securely and efficiently get the app to the phone. The payment app loading process is called provisioning and, as it is done over-the-air, it is in itself a process that carries certain security risks. You can read more about this issue here and here.

Equally important is understanding the benefits of the ‘Secure Element’, a cryptographically protected piece of hardware which is resident on newer mobile phones. When stored in a ‘Secure Element’, a payment app is subject to similar security as the data stored on an EMV card. As mobile payments continue to mature and adhere to evolving security standards, Secure Elements in devices, combined with a secure provisioning process, will help address consumer concerns over the security of mobile payments.