With holiday shopping expected to boost the growing $20 billion mobile payments market, businesses and consumers need to understand and address the security risks associated with mobile devices, says Javelin Strategy & Research in a recent report.
The market-leading Android platform, with over 50 million smartphone users, is especially vulnerable to malware and other attacks, given its large and growing user base and open-source platform. However, the 33 million iPhone users are attractive targets, as they spend more on average and shop more frequently with their smartphones than Android users.
Javelin found that iPhone users spend 49% more shopping through the mobile browser than through the mobile app. Likewise, Android users spent 38% more, and users of other operating systems spent 107% more. Shopping through the mobile browser presents greater security risks for all smartphone owners.
Adding to the risk, mobile browsers are more susceptible to threats like phishing, website spoofing, and man-in-the-middle attacks than the mobile app. With two out of every three mobile purchasers also conducting mobile banking, the potential security risks are significant.
"To minimize security risks, we recommend that businesses and consumers utilize apps for their mobile transactions," says Al Pascual, industry analyst of Security, Risk and Fraud, at Javelin. "We also recommend that businesses focus first on app development for iOS when considering mobile device security-in addition, iPhone owners are over 30% more likely to use their smartphones to make mobile purchases than Android users, and they have a higher monthly median purchase amount for the app than Android users."
[This article was posted on January 15, 2013, on the website of ABA Banking Journal, www.ababj.com.]