We are constantly taking advantage of apps on our phones to ease the stress that comes with paying bills or checking online balance statements. More and more people are starting to use their phones to pay bills, purchase items, or use mobile gift cards to make purchases. Security expert, Eddie Lee, has put a completely different perspective on the convenience of these apps in our everyday lives.
Lee has created an app where he is able to steal credit card information just by waiving his phone over the wallet in someone’s back pocket. He can then go into any store and tap his phone at the register and make a purchase. The point of this experimental app is to catch the weaknesses in wireless payment plans.
The video below discusses the opportunities that come with having such a powerful device. I found most interesting the idea that you can go into a coffee store, for example, and your phone will tell you how much you have spent so far this month on coffee, and suggest whether or not you should proceed with the purchase. The video also mentioned the method of transactions that is pointed out as a major flaw in Lee’s experimental app. The video talks about NFC (Near Field Communication). The NFC is where you can tap your phone at the register to make a purchase. Although this seems to be of much convenience, we have to think back to Lee’s observation and how he was able to use his phone to steal a credit card, then tap his phone at any store using the stolen card to make a purchase. While the video does a great job explaining the benefits to such a revolution in banking technology, we have to still consider the drawbacks.
The BusinessWeek article about Lee’s experimental app continues to say, “Fraud will account for 1.5 percent of all mobile payment transactions in four to five years. Criminals can access a mobile wallet by tricking its owner into downloading a piece of malicious code. Malware attacks on U.S. smartphones have risen 18 percent since 2011.” These numbers are not showing positive feedback to these new online banking apps.
All of these factors are affecting the future of mobile wallets. Having all of your information on your phone seems a bit much. There are still a lot of factors that need to be considered and tweaks to the online banking system that needs to be made before we all jump into this new way of banking. The idea that someone was able to come up with an app that can easily steal your credit card information is a serious factor in all this technology.
I believe these banking apps will provide a great opportunity to further advances in the way technology plays a role in our everyday lives. I just think we need to take precautions when these apps are dealing with our valuable and personal information.