With today’s modern technology making everyday life for people more convenient, it is not really a surprise that we have become reliant on it. Hand-written emails have gone out of style, replaced by speedier and more effective emails and text messages. Typewriters got phased out as well. Now, we have smarter computers, laptops, and smartphones.
Technology has also made banking super easy these days. Instead of paying cash or cheques, people can now pay for a wide variety of services and goods even when they are on the go. No more waiting in line at bank counters. Various businesses also opt to offer mobile eCommerce services to make the payment process easier for their online customers.
This has really become a hit among many people because in today’s busy world, there are only a few who can manage to go to a service or business center to purchase goods personally. Many would definitely prefer to buy what they need online. As such, this has given to more advancements in the form of online and mobile payment technology.
Types of Mobile Payment Systems and What Are Their Uses
With smartphones everywhere, mobile payment systems continue to take the place of physical transactions. Many establishments have really made it easy to pay for something, even if you left your wallet at home. Paying for your bill at a restaurant or gasoline station, for example, can be made without a sweat through your mobile device.
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With that said, here are three of the most common mobile payment systems today:
1. Mobile Wallet
This type of mobile payment enables you to pay for any goods or services, much like you would do with a credit card. All you need to do is to register your account and add funds from your credit card.
2. In-App Mobile Payments
With the rising number of apps, users can pay for in-app purchases without having to go to a payment center. You simply register your credit card information and then you can download files, music, or movies as well as buy game items without leaving an app.
3. SMS Payment
SMS payments is a type of mobile payment that enables you to pay for goods and services via text message from your mobile device. The cost is usually added to your phone’s monthly bill. With this type of payment, users can quickly buy goods or services, send remittances, and even make a deposit.
Are Mobile Payments Secured? How Are Users Assured of Their Safety?
Purchasing things from your smartphone or tablet has become very convenient that many people would prefer doing their transactions online rather than giving out cash or cheque personally. Unfortunately, fraudsters are also now out trying to find weaknesses in this system that they can exploit. That is why it is best to be aware of relevant security concerns. You can then keep yourself alert and prevent yourself from falling victim into online criminals’ ploys.
Here are some of the major concerns regarding mobile payment that you should be on the lookout for:
1. Legitimate apps can be cloned for nefarious purposes
The applications that you installed on your phone may or may not be genuine. App stores have strict requirements for developers and the programs they submit. Still, there are malicious individuals out there who would create programs that look similar to popular apps. These will be legitimate-looking enough to fool people.
Once installed, the fake apps can install viruses that will steal people’s bank details or trick them into paying for something they don’t want. There are also a lot of ransomware out there that will hold people’s data hostage until the victim pays up. So, do be very careful.
To avoid illegitimate apps, make sure that you download only from top developers verified by the app stores. Check the comments section as well to snoop anything suspicious.
2. Not all smartphones are secure
Older smartphone models can become prone to hacks and viruses. Fraudulent individuals know this. So, make sure that your phone’s operating system is updated along with your anti-virus apps. Alternatively, consider getting a newer model phone that is more equipped to protect itself from recent-generation viruses and malware. Take advantage as well of face and voice recognition or fingerprint scanners on mobile phones to boost security.
3. Fraudsters will always find new techniques
Hackers are quite clever people and they are always creating new ways to get what they want. So, always be careful about suspicious things when making online payments. Watch out for those pop-up ads; don’t open them. Be careful of phishing activities as well. And, again, only use and buy from apps that you can verify are trustworthy.
4. Vulnerable accounts can get hacked
Mobile payment centers may have security software to prevent malware and dangerous viruses from taking over. The sad part, though, is that the security breach can come from your end. Perhaps your password wasn’t strong enough or you left your phone alone for a bit, allowing malicious individuals access to it. Or maybe you logged in to your account over unsecured, public WiFi.
The moment your account gets hacked, the hackers can then find out about your credit card details and make unauthorized transactions, pretending to be you. Therefore, it is highly advisable that you make sure your account passwords are strong and unique.
How to Prevent Mobile Payment Fraud and Other Risks
To continue taking advantage of mobile payments, ensure that you protect yourself from the risks as much as possible. Strengthen your passwords, make use of two-factor authentication, and don’t leave your phone lying around for strangers to open. Be wary of suspicious pop-ups and download apps from trusted sources only. Also, keep your phone’s operating system updated, as well as your anti-virus defenses.
All in all, it is true that there are security issues involved, but mobile payment systems are definitely useful. They provide convenience and can make your shopping more effective. They also save time and since there are numerous online deals, paying for stuff online and also help you save money.