While America and the world struggles to decrease the risk of spreading of disease, little has been written about one of the more unhealthy physical exchanges between individuals. Hard currency has always been physically unclean, but in a healthy society it has just been perceived as a necessary health risk of an economically vibrant country. Mobile payments have really been thought of as being more efficient for consumers and businesses comparatively to cash exchanges, without much written about any health benefit.
OneSpan’s mobile security expert Sam Bakken detailed how consumers can be vigilant in adopting digital payments apps during a period of increased cyber risk, as well as how banks and mobile payment app developers can fortify the security of these apps in a recent statement. However, his comments also touch on the relative health that mobile payments provide compared with the handling of cash.
"Americans' adoption of mobile payments has always lagged behind other countries, but with the CDC's recent recommendation that commercial establishments limit the handling of cash, we expect to see an uptick in adoption of mobile payments applications in the U.S. over the course of the next few weeks. While I think the adoption of mobile payments is progress, I wish it were under different circumstances.
Attackers will be looking to exploit this potential increased adoption of mobile payment apps, and now is the time for banks and payment app developers to ensure the security of these apps by requiring strong authentication and additional layers of security such as in-app protection or app shielding to dynamically protect against malware targeting mobile users. This is especially important for insecure and out-of-date mobile devices in particular.
Consumers themselves should first check and confirm, if possible, that their mobile devices are up to date with security patches. Secondly, consumers should only download payment apps and the like from the official app stores. Finally, consumers should always read the reviews of any of these apps that they plan to use to move money around to ensure they are legitimate.”