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Consumers Now Believe Mobile Wallets are Safer than PCs

February 24, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Back when mobile payments systems, mobile wallets and the like were starting up in earnest, the biggest concern most everyone had was security.

Why not; essentially people were putting their bank data and everything else right on a smartphone, one that traveled everywhere, through who knows how many Wi-Fi connections and the like.

Though with regular development, that changed, and now customers are responding by considering those connections as secure as any PC, and in some cases, even more so.

The results of a new study from ACI Worldwide and Aite Group spelled it out, covering over 6,000 respondents from 20 countries. Just 43 percent of consumers trusted businesses—that’s everything from restaurants to retailers—to keep data secure, but over 80 percent believed that the data contained in a user’s mobile wallet was quite safe.

The clear majority of respondents, on a country-wide basis, generally didn’t trust retailers to protect data. Just three out of the 20 did, with India leading the way at 60 percent trust, the United States coming close at 54 percent, and Thailand in shouting distance at 51 percent.

Theft by computer hacking proved the biggest risk factor, with Germany considering the risk greatest, followed by Indonesia and, oddly, the United States. Thus the US simultaneously believed that retailers could protect data but considered computer hacking to be the biggest risk.

There’s really no point at which people stop being concerned about account security, whether it’s mobile payments or even just email. There is, however, a point where people stop being unduly afraid of potential risk and carries on with a reasonable, rational set of precautions, and it seems like we’re getting to that point.

Security is improving; we’ve seen enough gains on the biometric front to realize that the era of username and password is coming to a rapid and somewhat satisfying conclusion. That’s good news for users, and for the companies who offer these services.

While we all have work to do to shore up security, things are getting better. That’s a positive development, and one we can all take to the bank. Even on our mobile devices.