With the mobile wallet poised to take over from EFTPOS as the fastest and most convenient alternative to cash, recent reports of Android smartphones being hacked are a concern.
One expert hacker has found it easy to hijack an Android phone through Near Field Communications (NFC) – which just happens to be the same technology that the mobile wallet is based on.
Google, however, is downplaying these risks and claiming that the Google Wallet is safer than cash in a leather wallet – which is gone forever if you get hit over the head and robbed.
Unlike a leather wallet, smartphones can be protected with screen lock codes, similar to the PIN number on an EFTPOS or credit card. Also Google Wallet is linked to credit cards, which are protected against fraud – and can be cancelled if they are stolen (presumably after you regain consciousness).
Google and others have a vested interest in making this work – they stand to earn revenue by providing banking services, selling advertising and the smartphones themselves. They can afford to cover some commercial risk.
What this says to me is that I get all the convenience of tap-and-go payments, instant account balances and use of electronic coupons, at minimal risk to me. Considering I have never been negatively impacted by credit card transactions online – I’m sold. When can I have a mobile wallet, please?