Mobile payments will boost crime, say security pros

The vast majority of IT security professionals believe that mobile payments will drive an increase in online crime, according to a new survey from business advisory KPMG.

Security in business technology

The vast majority of IT security professionals believe that mobile payments will drive an increase in online crime, according to a new survey from business advisory KPMG.

The study found that almost two thirds of financial services, technology, telecoms and retail businesses are already operating a mobile payments strategy, according to research from KPMG. Around $100 billion worth of mobile payments made in the US alone in 2011, the company says.

But 92% of information security officers surveyed told KPMG that they believe that ‘m-commerce’ will drive an increase in online crime. Meanwhile, 90% of consumers are worried about security of personal data on mobile devices.

The KPMG report notes that m-commerce is already "caught in the web of legislation and regulation" due to the transnational character of the payments. "Detailed and timely counsel on the legal regimes in individual markets, and the connections between them, is essential," it said.

The research was published just as a serious security flaw with Google’s mobile payment technology, Google Wallet, was exposed by mobile technology blog Smartphone Champ. If a thief steals a smartphone with Google Wallet installed, the they can circumvent the PIN protection by clearing the app data in the settings menu.

Google advised users of the service, which is so far only available in the US but is being launched in the UK later this year, to contact it if their phone is lost or stolen.

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