Mobile bared the brunt of some bad press this week. Firstly, the story that NFC could be compromised through a new app, secondly the charger that could penetrate the iOS operating system and thirdly the emergence of a new breed of consumers labelled as “paynuphobics”
– purportedly 26% of adults who are scared to use online and mobile because of security risks.
The US Federal Report on mobile behaviour and usage actually labelled this number higher at 49%. But let’s be honest here; consumers have always had choices, and there are plenty of other payment methods even less secure.
Cash firstly is inherently risky. It can be stolen, counterfeited, 80% of UK bank notes contain traces of illicit drugs, and there is evidence that cash can also transmit disease. Cash represents over 56% of all UK transactions currently. On top of that,
it's near completely anonymous, useful for those who may have something to hide.
Cheques can also be stolen, forged, counterfeited and altered. Similarly cards can be stolen, intercepted, swapped, skimmed or card data compromised used to facilitate transactions where the customer is not present.
Do we really want to move back to a system of barter? I have two chickens for sale for your one goat?
We need to give mobile a chance, and educate the consumers to the new, but arguably lesser threats. This needs partnership and joint effort between the banks, mobile network operators, chip, handset, app manufacturers and distributors, but we need to stop
scaring consumers into leaving their new shiny new smartphone in the box!