Mizuho Payments: Mobile Payments Still Risky, but Gaining Ground

June 27, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

We all love mobile payments, thanks to their convenience and ease of use. Mobile payments’ security has been a challenge since the earliest days, though, and though advances have been made therein, there’s still an undercurrent of danger to the whole thing. A new report recently sent our way from Mizuho Payments illustrates that we’re not out of the woods on security, but there are gains being made.

First, the Mizuho report noted that payments made from cards actually overtook cash in the United Kingdom back in 2017. That’s the word out of UK Finance, which pointed out 13.2 billion debit card payments were made alongside 13.1 billion cash payments. The two values actually mirrored each other, as debit card payments were up 14 percent from 2016, and cash payments were down 15 percent.

Contactless payments drove a big increase in debit card transactions, as the payment systems are connected to a debit card by combination of necessity and consumer preference. Contactless transactions in the UK were up 97 percent over 2016, reaching 5.6 billion total in 2017. Moreover, 63 percent of UK shoppers are turning to contactless, and no age group—not even the oldest—has a rate under 50 percent.

That’s a lot of new business, but the Mizuho report also detailed that threats are still in the air. A recent Europol effort from 28 different countries netted 95 separate fraud operators and “members of internet-based criminal networks that were suspected of online fraud activities.” Over 20,000 different transactions were connected with the suspects, valued at a reported sum of over eight million euros.

So here, we see not only a rapid expansion in card use thanks to contactless systems, but we also see the dangers faced by card users online. This particular dichotomy has been running for some time now, and even as payments platforms step up their security, the fraudsters find ways to push back. It is an eternal dance that requires vigilance on the part of the end user; no platform will ever be completely safe, because there’s too much potential reward for fraud.

Keep that in mind the next time you use a mobile payments system: the price of that convenience and ease of use is a careful eye on your own accounts.