UK government sets guidelines to combat contactless m-payments fraud
28 August 2009 | 9751 views | 5
The UK government has laid down guidelines designed to tackle fraud associated with mobile phone-based contactless payments.
Contactless m-payments - where users can make low value purchases by tapping their handsets against specially equipped terminals - is being trialled by several phone companies and banks.
The Home Office says it has been working with the industry to make sure tough security measures are in place to prevent phone thieves or cloners from being able to take advantage of the new technology.
The government department has now issued guidelines, asking firms to make sure bank details, phones and SIMs are disabled as soon as possible once phones are reported lost or stolen.
In addition, verification, such as a PIN, will be required for any transactions above the maximum contactless payment value (currently £10) and if more than a certain number of smaller charges are carried out in a row.
The Home Office also wants to encourage those who sign up for a contactless payment handset to add their details on the National Mobile Phone Register (NMPR), making it easier for stolen phones to be identified and recovered. NMPR is linked to voluntary databases designed to make it easier for police to identify and recover stolen phones. Approximate 22 million phones are currently registered on it.
Alan Campbell, minister, Home Office, says: "This technology is an exciting new development but we must continue to work together to reduce any new opportunities for criminals to profit from mobile theft. As new technologies like this develop we aim to consider where safeguards can be incorporated at the drawing board stage."
Barclaycard, currently trialling the technology with wireless operator Orange, has welcomed the guidelines.
Dan Salmons, director, payment innovations, Barclaycard says: "Contactless is the future of payments and with plans for payments to be possible via mobile phone in 2010 the guidelines announced by the Home Office will ensure that security and consumer confidence in mobile payments is further improved."