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How secure are online payments made by mobile?

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Smartphones are taking up an increasingly large portion not just of how we run our businesses and everyday lives, but also of our shopping activities. It’s no secret that your smartphone is now effectively your bank account and credit card rolled into one, and that recent innovations such as Apple Pay and PayPal have made paying by mobile easier and more common than ever before. Naturally, the ease with which mobile payments can be made, as well as a spate of recent news stories which have had consumers and entrepreneurs alike fretting about the security of our data in an age of mass cyber attacks and hacking incidents, has given rise to growing concerns about the security of mobile payments compared to more traditional methods.

The issue of mobile payment security is of particular concern to many small business owners, who need to take advantage of such growing technologies in order to stay competitive, but also need to be able to assuage any fears that current or prospective customers may have about the safety of their payment information. It’s therefore vital to have a clear picture of just how secure online payments made by mobile are, as well as the best ways to ensure that such payments, and the customers who use them, are as well-protected as possible from hackers and scammers.

Mobile payments are expected to overtake conventional card payments sometime within the next ten years, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most trusted and widely used mobile payment platforms such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay etc. are all investing massive amounts of time and resources into ensuring they’re as safe as possible. The apps themselves have pretty watertight built-in security features such as AES 256-bit encryption and bulwarks against potential breaches such as 24/7 fraud protection and monitoring systems. Lots of online businesses also tend to go to such lengths to ensure that their customer’s payment information is secure, with UK online casinos such as Mr. Smith offering online slots, roulette and similar games being a particularly prominent example of an e-business which has focused heavily on payment security, because each user’s bankroll, including their winnings, is available on the site to play with until they choose to withdraw it, rather than a one-off payment. 

In software terms, it’s fair to say that your mobile wallet is at least as secure as your physical bank cards in many respects, and that the biggest security risks with mobile payments comes not from the integrity of payment apps themselves, but from the ease with which thieves can access your mobile device and obtain your details. For this reason, you should always ensure that your mobile device is has a complex password (PLEASE don’t use your date of birth) and that any apps or sites which may hold your information are trusted and have two-factor authentication. You should also take care not to have your payment information stored across too many devices.

From a business-owner perspective, you should always make sure that you’re processing the payments of your customers with trusted platforms such as the ones mentioned above, and that you urge customers to follow safe practices when paying via mobile. Overall, online payments using mobile are generally very safe, and any potential security risks tend to stem from human error rather than any issue with the platforms, so stay safe!

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