Did you know that many people and businesses believe that in the future we will most likely see mobile payments replace paper currency all together? For those who prefer not to carry a stuffed wallet around with them at all times, this may be welcome news indeed. In fact, these are probably the very same people who have already exchanged the clutter and inconvenience of lugging around a wallet for the blissful convenience of a digital wallet that they can transact with via their phones.
Problematically though, digital wallets can be susceptible to the threat of cyber crime. Most recently is the warning sent out by banks, alerting Apple and Google Pay users about scammers who are targeting digital wallet users in an effort to steal their identities – and their money.
Here’s what you need to know about the Apple Pay Scam, including the steps you would need to take in order to ensure you can enjoy paying with your digital wallet without fear of being defrauded.
What Is A Digital Wallet?
Wondering what a digital wallet is? This is the term used to refer to mobile wallets and other electronic payments, although some banks might call it an eWallet. Essentially, a digital wallet serves as an electronic version of your payment cards. Typically, your digital wallet is stored on your mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet, and is linked to your bank account or card.
This allows you to access multiple forms of payment from a single app. Just like a real wallet.
A few examples of popular digital wallets include:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Samsung Pay
- PayPal One Touch
- Fitbit Pay
The Benefits Of Digital Wallets
It’s clear that digital wallets are a more convenient means of transacting, but what are the other benefits for consumers and businesses?
- Improved Customer Experience
Digital wallets streamline the checkout process, eliminating checkout pages and reducing click-throughs. Not only is this better for the buyer who can transact quicker, but it benefits businesses too, who are said to see fewer customers abandoning their shopping carts.
- Sensitive Data Is Secure
When digital wallets are added into eCommerce platforms, the wallet provider generally helps provide an added layer of security with the use of biometrics, like fingerprint and face recognition technology. This enables both retailers and consumers alike to keep sensitive financial details secure.
- Real-Time Insights
From a business perspective, digital wallets enable you to gain real-time data for valuable insights into customer shopping habits and preferences. Not only does this facilitate a more targeted marketing campaign, but analysis could also help you better manage inventory and create more accurate budgets.
- Alternative Payment Options
Not everyone likes using or accepting credit cards, and digital wallets provides one and all with access to alternative payments.
- It’s Easily Deployable
Gone are the days of technology that’s difficult to deploy, because it’s easy to integrate most of the well known wallet apps directly into your ecommerce store or POS location.
Are Digital Wallets As Safe As You Think?
Make no mistake, there are numerous benefits of digital wallets (for both sellers and buyers), but there are also inherent risks. The most notable of these is the fact that mobile phones and wearables are vulnerable to theft and if you don’t secure your device with biometrics to complement your password or PIN, thieves could more easily break into your device and access your digital wallet.
Additionally, your devices use wireless networks and whenever information travels across a wireless network, that device is susceptible to hacking.
In short, digital wallet users are vulnerable to criminals who look for ways to intercept sensitive data, like your (or your customers’) credit card information.
Case in point, a warning was recently sent out to bank customers about fraudsters who are targeting people who use digital wallets – like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Essentially, criminals have evolved their methods to navigate around ss mobile technology so that they can fleece you for all they can get.
Specifically, as an Apple Pay user, you would receive a text message advising you to use the link provided so that you can re-register your card and continue to enjoy transacting with Apple Pay. This re-registration process involves filling in your full name, address, date of birth, and contact details to start with, before moving on to entering your sort code, account number, 16-digit card number, card expiry date, and the three security digits on the back of your card.
On the other hand, Google Pay and other digital wallet users are targeted with calls from fake bank representatives to discuss “unusual activity” on your account. They’ll advise you to add a new security system called ‘Wallet Pay’ and send through a link via text that you’ll be told to use in much the same way as described with the Apple Pay scam.
This is awful on several levels. In addition to the financial loss and feelings of invasion, there may be no recourse. You see, if you experience credit card fraud, your bank covers you and you won’t be liable for those purchases. The thing is, those protections might not be in place with a digital wallet.
So, How Do You Stay Safe?
First of all, if you suspect that you are being scammed in this way then please call 159 immediately and you’ll be directed to a service connecting you to your bank so that you can report this right away.
However, it’s better to be prepared so that you can protect yourself against this kind of fraud.
Here are our best tips to stay safe when using your digital wallet:
- Don’t share your card details, bank account information, or security data in full with anyone.
- Likewise, you should never share your PIN with anyone.
- Turn on two-factor authentication.
- Make sure that you have secured your device or devices with biometrics and don’t rely on a PIN or password only.
- Review your digital wallet purchases frequently so you can spot suspicious activity.
- Be on the lookout for phishing emails asking you to click on links with any sense of urgency or enticement.
The reality is that digital wallets aren’t going away, and if your business accepts digital wallet payments, or in fact, handles or stores sensitive customer information, then security is probably top of mind for you.
At Security Everywhere, we help small businesses find the right cyber security that will protect themselves, their data, their reputation, and their customers! We offer a range of products, including Computer Security, Password Security, Email Security, Backup & Recovery, and Cyber Training.
Talk to us about our easy and affordable managed security services.