By Allan Maurer
Quick, easy mobile payments, preferably with a single button tap to buy something, is the Holy Grail of mobile commerce. Widespread adoption of mobile payments is expected by 2020, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report.
Even before that, the mobile payments market is expected to hit $5 billion by 2014.
But before that happens, challenges remain for those who would be on the forefront of the mobile payments industry. Not the least is security.
A security solution
Atlanta firm Paymetric Inc. has a solution for that. It’s software “tokenizes” credit card information so that it never enters merchant back-end systems or applications. That substantially increases data security while reducing a merchant’s PCI compliance issues.
Asif Ramji, president & CEO of Paymetric tells the TechJournal that tokenizing credit card data is very different from encryption.
“Encryption can be broken,” he notes. “As credit card numbers fly around in the raw, there are many implications from a security and governance standpoint. We tokenize a card nujmber form the point of entry. That completely divorces it from the credit card number. It’s next generation security.”
Not limited to protecting credit card data
The cloud-based data-intercept system takes the credit card number completely out of the clients environment. They only have a token, so that if someone hacks their system – not a frivolous worry given the high profile break-ins at major companies in recent years, not to mention those affecting smaller merchants – all the hacker gets is a token that’s useless to them.
The ability to replace sensitive information with a token isn’t limited to just credit card numbers, Ramji says. “We’re at the perfect crossroads. We can extend our solution to any sensitive data – Passport, personal health records, personally, identity information. You’re going to see a lot more of this.”
Not only that, in addition to mobile point-of-service payments, it can be used on the web, or a kiosk. “We can interface in multiple ways,” says Ramji. “We’re crafting a strategy to go after personally identifyable information (PII).”
Companies know security is increasingly a huge business liability, Ramji says. “Sony got breached and had to shut down sites and took a brand hit,” he notes. “They came to us for remediation.”
Just using encryption isn’t enough to protect sensitive data, he notes. “Get the data out of your environment.”
No one taking security shortcuts
The company has done well. It experienced repeated record quarters, including Q1 2012, in which it saw 150 percent growth. “You don’t have to convince people about this,” Ramji says. “When it comes to selling into the IT environment, projects for innovation or product enhancement may get cut. But no one is taking short cuts on security and compliance.”
The company developed its mobile device payment system with Velocitor Solutions.
“Velocitor’s history in the mobile solutions industry combined with Paymetric’s knowledge of payment card security makes us a great match for delivering a solution for processing transactions securely via mobile devices to the market,” said Shawn Flemming, chief operating officer of Velocitor Solutions in a press release about the partnership.
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- Proximity mobile payments to near $9.9B by 2016
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