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Mobile Security Forecast: What’s In for 2017

As the sheer volume of purchases made on mobile devices continues to skyrocket, consumers are increasingly looking for signs showing that brands are keeping their personal data under wraps and their credit card details under heavy lock and key.

Recent data breaches at major retailers, such as Target, have cast a wave of uneasiness among some consumers, especially those who are newbies to the world of mobile shopping. To combat these fears, retailers should ensure they choose reputable mobile payment partners and leverage a slew of top security features, all of which are bound to continue their upward trajectories in 2017.

Touch ID: A growing number of financial marketers and brands have steadily been adding Touch ID capabilities into their checkout processes, for the sole purpose of adding another layer of customer verification. This trend is likely to continue in the year ahead, especially as retailers look for more ways to make customers comfortable with completing digital transactions. Consumers can simply place their finger on their iPhone’s home button to authorize a purchase, a step that can also be combined with the inputting of a password for maximum security.

Taking on tokenization: Tokenization was arguably one of the hot button words last year, and it stands to follow that reputation into 2017 as well. Retailers that want to provide the utmost credit card security to customers must select payment partners that use tokenization, a process that replaced an individual’s credit card data – such as the 16-digit number and security code – with a unique digital identifier. The tokenized card then links to the shopper’s mobile wallet service of choice and guards personal information while payment is processed.

Mobile payment services including Visa Checkout, Mastercard’s Masterpass, and Apple Pay all employ tokenization among their security features. One suggestion for retailers? Advertise these providers’ tokenization capabilities to first-time customers before they enter the checkout stage. It could provide an added dose of reassurance to someone concerned about the security of the transaction.

Third-party partnerships: Another way in which companies, especially financial services brands, are placing security control in the hands of consumers is by entering into strategic partnerships with third-party mobile apps or services. For instance, Chase recently teamed up with Intuit, the company that owns financial planning service Mint. This partnership enables mobile users to sync up their bank accounts with personal information on the Mint app, and better track their spending and saving habits. Individuals are given options as to how much information they want to share with each respective company, and whether they want to keep the same passwords for both apps. By teaming up with respected third-party services that offer multiple sign-in and security options, brands can widen their consumer outreach as well as their menu of services.

The final verdict: Mobile security will continue being a top priority for retailers of all sizes this year, but will yield the most success to those who implement a combination of the features above. Consumers’ trust must be won before their wallet – especially in an economy featuring a multitude of power players in ecommerce. 

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Alex Samuely, Contributor

Alex is a marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in analyzing digital and mobile marketing trends. She has also covered brand-oriented mobile strategies spanning the retail, travel, financial services, and food and beverage industries.

Topics: mobile security

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