Reports of identity theft and mobile transaction fraud consistently inundate global news media. Understandably keeping consumers on their toes, payment providers are always on the lookout for the next best payment solution that will keep customers safe while also making transactions easy.
Credit reporting agency Equifax announced this week that it has partnered with mobile device location company Zumigo to develop a secure mobile payment system that may ease the concerns of many consumers who use their mobile devices to make purchases. The network-based solution will use identity verification to validate device ownership and make sure the owner of a device matches up with the person who is using said device to initiate a transaction.
Equifax, for its part, will provide “consumer credit data, carrier billing data and device location information to enable simple, secure mobile transactions, including financial and retail account activation,” the announcement states. Zumigo will then build, atop that information, software that verifies the owner by using an available mobile network. This approach will allow consumers to use the service on any mobile device with a mobile data connection.
The service will also reportedly enhance users' security and privacy by storing no additional data on their devices. Consumers will be able to verify their identities completely within the network, and they will not have to worry about their device compromising any sensitive information relevant to that verification. In the Equifax statement, company Vice President of Mobile Commerce Anand Krishnaswamy discussed the nature of the new technology.
“Consumers will fully embrace m-commerce when their mobile devices are more secure than the plastic in their wallets and can be used as a proxy for their identities,” Krishnaswamy said.
The main advantage for consumers, in addition to their security when using the service, is that any loss or theft of their devices may not result in unwanted mobile purchases. Thieves should not be able to identify themselves as owners of the devices they have taken. In addition to the security measures listed above, the service will also employ location data to make sure that the device and consumer are within the vicinity of a merchant or ATM when they seek to make a purchase or withdraw money.
Equifax also claims that the service will be easy to operate. Users will have the option of allowing it to automatically populate mobile shopping carts with personal and payment information. Security will mean nothing if users abandon it because it is too difficult to work. Both Equifax and Zumigo reportedly feel that they will be able to create a service that is user-friendly and, at the same time, secure.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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