Against a backdrop of recent developments in the mobile wallet and mobile payment device technology sectors, risk and fraud prevention specialist UKFraud (http://www.ukfraud.co.uk/) has launched a new mobile wallet consultancy practice. The move reflects recent positive and influential developments from Google with their Wallet and more recently from Apple with the launch of its latest iPhone with an integral fingerprint reader. The announcement also reflects the in-depth analysis of the market by UKFraud's own Mobile Payment Special Interest Group (SIG), which has recognised the need for all financial product stakeholders to develop risk reduction strategies capable of matching the projected rapid growth of the global mobile payments sector over the next eighteen months.
The new consultancy practice will provide strategic advice and direction to a wide range of mobile payment sector organisations that aim to reduce the risk of moving their products and services to an emerging wallet architecture. This could apply to new devices (including phones, PDAs and tablets), software (including Apps and browsers) and most importantly to the authentication systems that are to be considered, validated and used. The consultancy also advises on the fraud risks of transporting mediums such as the internet and/or mobile carriers, including NFC, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The service will also aim to ensure that money and time invested is not wasted by developing superfluous wallet based products that will not 'fly'.
Kevin Smith, the Chair of UKFraud's Mobile Payment SIG, can see a role for the provision of detailed guidance to mobile wallet and mobile payment organisations whilst key sector bodies grapple with how the markets need European wide codes of practice. In his view, "The European Payments Council is just one leading body that is working hard and well to evolve a common understanding and nomenclature for this complex and fast changing environment. We are keen to see both their vision and the on-going fruits of their labour. However, in the meantime, the global mobile payment market and other key stakeholders have recently been influenced in a very positive and promising way by a series technological launches by market leaders such as Apple, Google and locally by mpowa.
"Those who choose to hone their products around these technologies need urgently now to ensure that there are clear technical rules and constraints, understandable principles and frameworks around what they develop. This includes the related requirements of authentication, reliability, interoperability and transferability. There is therefore clearly a role for advisors to deliver defining guidance to such organisations as how they can minimise the risks involved to both their organisations and their customers. This guidance should also point to the likelihood of emerging standards both at a European and indeed global level."
Bill Trueman, CEO of UKFraud acknowledged Kevin Smith's view and commenting on the launch of the new practice added, "There are already so many new technology developments in mobile payments and we still haven't heard from many of the main traditional players yet, probably because they are still gathering their thoughts or formulating business cases. Fortunately, the recent launches by sector leaders such as Google, PayPal and Apple have had an extremely positive impact and have influenced the market greatly for the better. Our aim in recognising both the beneficial impact of these recent developments and the prospect of announcements from Europe is to help organisations navigate the best route forward for their products and to help them reduce the risks of their own solutions within the broader mobile wallet 'space'. Consequently, we hope to make a number of major announcements shortly regarding the specific areas of help related to particular mobile wallet and payment device products and propositions."
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