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FTC Issues Mobile Security Warning


The Federal Trade Commission has just released a report that reveals its perspective pertaining to the security of mobile commerce and its possible downfalls. The FTC’s mobile security warning comes as payments via mobile devices are on the rise.

The FTC report indicates that with smartphone payments possibly becoming mainstream by 2015, carriers and payment processors like MasterCard, AT&T, Verizon, Visa, Google, T-Mobile and Intuit are gearing up for a very significant growth within this mobile payments environment. The report states that even startups have contributed to making it easier for payment transactions to be accepted. The FTC predicts that more players and, therefore, more mobile security issues, would arise in the near future.

It says that together with the expansion of the mobile payments market, threats from mobile security problems will also go up. With more consumers and more usage, more providers will also infiltrate the marketplace and therefore expand the smartphone and tablet payments industry. This growth will be seen by dubious individuals as an opportunity to work on their modus and exponentially increase mobile security risks.

The report cites a Federal Reserve study, which revealed that in the U.S., 87% of people have a mobile phone. Among them, 44% are smartphones. And inside that figure, 12% have used their mobile devices to make payment transactions within the last year, a majority of these transactions having taken place as online bill payments. This survey indicated that the primary barrier to the widespread adoption of mobile payment s would be these mobile security issues.

The FTC showed that, according to majority of the respondents in the study, the convenience that the service brings is its most appealing feature. Businesses, meanwhile, hope that it will bring them lower processing charges. However, they also identified concerns over dispute resolution, and even worries over the security of mobile transactions in terms of data and privacy.

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