Banks vs. Start-Ups In The Mobile Wallet Race
The 2012 edition of CARTES was marked by a proliferation of mobile payment solutions being showcased. On the first day Ian Hermon presented his White Paper entitled “Trust in the cloud or trust in the phone”, which looks at the security issues involved in contactless mobile payments.
Ian is the Payments Security Manager at Thales e-Security, a leading provider of data protection solutions. Its main product portfolio in the financial world “revolves around hardware security modules that are used by issuers, acquirers, card schemes processors”, Ian explained.
He is seeing a shift in payments, towards mobile solutions. “Initially it was contactless cards, and now we are really seeing mobile phones”, Ian commented. We discussed the race between traditional players like banks and newcomers like iZettle or Google – with chip and cloud security operating in the same market. “I don’t see an obvious winner at the moment”, Ian added. “The mobile security chip…is more closely related to traditional EMV chip cards, it sort of builds on that infrastructure, but there’s a lot to do. One of the weaknesses is the physical phone itself and I think we’ve got certain solutions already”, but there is no general solution for mobile payments with banks. People can’t “just phone up their bank and say I would like your payment credit card app on my phone”, he commented.
Banks are already big players when it comes to mobile banking apps, but according to Ian should bet on offering a true range of mobile financial services, including P2P and proximity payments, “it’s how they can stay relevant.” Banks also need to make sure their solutions are fail-proof in terms of security or risk losing long-term clients for other financial products. Unlike start-ups they have a lot more to lose and need to make sure their product will not cause them any drawbacks.
With more and more companies opting for the convenience of cloud security for their mobile solutions banks will need to prove they can overcome the barrier of convenience and still provide a safe product. To find out more read the White Paper here.
Ian Hermon has more than 15 years’ experience in the payment industry, being responsible for the Thales e-Security portfolio of payment and transaction security products. During his time at Thales e-Security, Ian has been involved in various project management, product management and product marketing roles associated with providing banks and technology partners with payment security solutions built to meet the stringent certification needs of the payments industry.
Ian represents Thales on both the MasterCard Global Vendor Forum and Visa Europe Vendor Forum, is a member of the Smart Card Alliance Payments Council and the Smartex Smart Payments Forum Steering Committee. Ian also represents Thales on the PCI Participating Organisation forum, the Global Platform Advisory Council, the Multos Business Advisory Group and is an EMV subscriber.
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