Is paying by smartphone safe?

by Łukasz Chojnowski

Published on February 10, 2016

In the 2013 alone, more than 450 million people used their smartphones to make payments. Total transaction value being more than $721 billion, it’s more than relevant to ask – can I do that safely?

Today there are few popular, safe ways to make payments, such as Wallet, Paym, PayPal. On the other hand, those are obliterated with one simple mistake. Research indicates, that more than 30% of smartphones are not password-protected (McAffe, 2013). It’s like leaving your car with the door wide open and a greeting card on a driver’s seat.

Setting your password is one thing. Other is linking a card to your phone. If you link a debit card, than your money is instantly accessible. If you link a credit card, you still have a chance and the time to get them back, in case the account is exploited.

Furthermore, keep an eye on your payment statements. It’s inconvenient to close and re-open an account but it’s much worse to lose money.

You should also keep in mind to download apps from trustworthy sources. For instance, downloading apps from 3rd party stores and platforms outside AppStore is risky. There are no native solutions made by your favorite company outside official channels.

Remember to check app reviews and ratings. There could be companies or developers preying on your time-consumed lifestyle and having not much time to download something safe. Always check the stars next to the app, and make sure to read actual reviews for human perspective. Micro-transactions in apps are also driven by real money.

Send data through secure Internet connection. Don’t ever use public hot-spots or unsecured local networks for your payments. For professional, it’s quite easy to get your password that way.

Use your bank mobile app. Nowadays there are lots of ways to pay via smartphone, all can be accessed after breaking the chain of safety measures. Some just take a lot of time, and are consuming, co hackers won’t get an easy job. If in doubt, always trust your bank. That way, when something happens, and it’s uncommon, you can always seek retribution in a court of law.

There is one other interesting way to pay on the spot. iPAY system is using tokens. It’s easy and convenient – customers no longer have to enter a password for every single purchase and merchants never store any sensitive data, like credit card number or expiration date. Tokens are generated for each customer and for each credit card or electronic check payment account. Shops simply apply this token each time a customer make a purchase or a payment.

If you are using smartphone for paying, always remember to check the list above. Simple things can secure your well deserved long night sleep.

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