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How to Keep Mobile Payments Secure During the Season of Spending

  • by Matt Herren
  • Nov 24, 2015

It’s that time of year again—holiday shopping is ramping up, and so are risks for fraud and security breaches. And with more and more consumers using their mobile phones to make purchases this holiday season, keeping your customers’ personal data safe should be on your radar.

4 Tips to Follow for Secure Mobile Payments

Here are a few tips your financial institution can share with customers to promote mobile payments security. Encourage your customers to:

  1. Enroll in Online Digital Wallets

    Visa Checkout and MasterCard MasterPass are the latest and greatest in online digital wallets. Unlike physical digital wallets like those used for Apple Pay and Android Pay, online digital wallets encrypt card information online (instead of on the mobile device). With an online digital wallet, your customers enable a single-click checkout, which eliminates the need to enter credit card credentials in website checkout forms.

  2. Only Download Apps from Secure Sources

    Many of your bank’s customers will use mobile apps to make purchases this holiday season. Remind them that it’s not only a best practice to limit app purchases and downloads to trusted sources like the App Store and Google Play, but before downloading an app, be sure to check the app’s reviews and ratings. Some apps are developed independently and are not affiliated with the merchant the app represents, which could pose security threats. 

  3. Check the Connection Before Purchase

    Remember that “free” or public Wi-Fi networks are often vulnerable to password and credentials theft. Also, if your customers are making mobile purchases on merchants’ mobile websites—instead of merchants’ apps—remind customers to check the authentication of the mobile websites by verifying the URL includes “https,” not “http.”

    Heeding this quick tip can help ensure any data passed between a customer’s mobile device and a merchant’s server is only shared between the two machines.

  4. Ensure Security of Personal Information
  5. It may sound routine, but you can never remind customers enough of these two things:

      1. Password-protect your mobile device to prevent access to personal information if the mobile device is lost or stolen.
      2. Never share your personal identification number (PIN) with anyone, including your bank. Your bank or credit union will not call you to ask for your PIN information.

In a day in time when data breaches and identify theft have become commonplace, mobile payments platforms like apps and digital wallets are the future of security. But even though the credentials shared with merchants via mobile payments may be more secure than those made through mag-stripe card transactions, it’s still important to educate your customers on how to best protect their personal information and modify behaviors when using mobile payments platforms. Share our tips with your customers during the season of spending to ensure mobile payments technologies continue to effectively combat breaches and data theft.


In his role, Matt Herren has employed advanced analytics and data analysis to not only react to fraud, but also to prevent it. As the product manager for Payment Analytics, Matt has expanded CSI’s ability to address fraud through early identification of merchant breaches and fraudulent testing techniques. His work helps to increase bank profitability through fraud mitigation and card portfolio analysis, allowing customers to realize industry-leading results and maximize program performance.