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Improving Google Wallet's security

Two security flaws in the Google Wallet have been revealed in the last few days, highlighting the vulnerability of this technology. First zvelo showed how your Google Wallet PIN could be hacked using a brute force attack, and a few days later The Smartphone Champ discovered a way to reset payment options so that anyone who finds an unlocked smartphone could use its mobile wallet.

Despite these security defects, I do actually believe in the mobile wallet – it is still a lot safer than cash and it has the potential to make our lives more convenient. That leaves me to state the obvious: security needs to be better.

As I’ve mentioned before in these blogs, mobile payments and mobile banking pave the way for voice-based authentication to go mainstream. The technology is so advanced that it makes it virtually impossible to mimic and it is an accurate way of ensuring the end-user is genuine.

Google Wallet is leading the way in this area, and it’s understandable that certain factors are still a work in progress. The industry is still learning and developing the technology for the mobile wallet itself as well as the security procedures that go with it. There will be several generations of mobile wallet security software and procedures, but the one component that I believe will stick, is the use of voice biometric technology for authentication.


Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 March, 2012, 15:28Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'm a big fan of mobile payments and I believe that Google Wallet has huge potential, but can you explain your reasoning behind "...a lot safer than cash..."? 

Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll - ValidSoft - London 05 March, 2012, 17:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thank you for your comment. What I mean by “a lot safer than cash” is that in the instance of a cash wallet, when the wallet is stolen, the cash is gone for good. In the case of a mobile wallet, the cash cannot be used if strong authentication (as I explain in my blog) applies”


Pat Carroll

Pat Carroll

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17 Mar 2011



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Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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