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From e- to m-commerce; security remains a top priority

It’s hard to believe just how revolutionary the mobile phone was when it first entered the market in 1973. Back then, the mobile phone resembled a house phone; it was heavy, bulky, not particularly ergonomic and did only what it said on the tin: allowed users to make calls whilst on the move.

Today, however, there are over 4 billion mobile phones in use worldwide – meaning that over 70 percent of the world’s population carry one. It has its place in our pocket or handbag and is as important to us as our keys and money. Moving quickly from calls and text messages through to seven megapixel cameras and high speed internet access, we now have the means to buy products, check bank accounts and make payments, all from a device that fits into the palm of our hands.

According to Ovum, the value of goods bought by UK shoppers using mobile devices is going to more than double over the next three years. Such a prediction, along with the latest Gartner research which estimates a 54 percent rise in UK mobile payments from 2009 to 2010, serves to illustrate that the trend of increasing mobile usage shows no signs of stopping.

As consumers become more reliant on their mobile to perform a multitude of tasks and get used to having a variety of channels available to them, the security surrounding these channels is becoming a greater concern. With mounting threats posed to the security of our identity, along with consistent levels of online fraud and the additional risk from nascent m-commerce uptake, the need for a secure and efficient way to verify our identity and authorise transactions is evident. 

Whilst I may well be biased, to me the answer is obvious. With mobile usage increasing to such an extent, the phones themselves need to act as vehicles for verification and authentication. They are already ingrained into our everyday lives, so why make things more complicated than they need to be?

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