Mobile payments 'prevalent in five years'

Consumerisation worries public sector IT managers
Consumerisation worries public sector IT managers

It could be as little as five years before UK shoppers are able to use their mobile phones to pay for things on the high street, from sausage rolls to manicures, according to a Forrester report commissioned by PayPal. Based on interviews with ten senior executives at major UK businesses, the research said that almost half of all mobile users will purchase something via a device every three months.

According to a report in the Telegraph, a number of smartphone apps have been launched to allow for mobile payments, while Google has launched its ‘Wallet' mobile payment system in recent months.

PayPal said it expects to process more than $3.5bn in global mobile payments in 2011 – five times the value it processed in 2010. By 2016, UK mobile retail sales will reach £2.5bn, according to PayPal.

Carl Scheible, managing director of PayPal UK, said: “We'll see a huge change over the next few years in the way we shop and pay for things. By 2016, you'll be able to leave your wallet at home and use your mobile as the 21st century digital wallet.

“2016 will mark the real start of money's digital switchover in the UK. We're not saying cash will disappear entirely, but we'll increasingly use our phones and other devices rather than our wallets to pay in-store as well as online.”

This summer, Thales launched cryptographic technology to allow payment applications to be loaded onto mobile phones with the application hosted in a GlobalPlatform Secure Element via its hardware security module (HSM).

Jose Diaz, director of technical and strategic business development at Thales e-Security, said: “Today you have a card in your wallet and the future is on your phone. The most important thing is to get payment data into a phone securely, and if it is done within the HSM, it can provide security without doing a lot of work.”

Speaking at a CNS event this week, Jeremy King, European director of the PCI council, said mobile was "a challenge that was not going to go away".

Pat Carroll, CEO of ValidSoft, told SC Magazine: “It is about moving from card to phones with near-field communications stickers, I don't know how it will manifest itself, everyone is agreeing on a standard and background on transactions of €15 or less.

“There will be a huge volume of transactions out there and if they are NFC-enabled, it could increase by ten times. Fraud will be rampant unless security is implemented.”

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