Mobile payment, the dark side of the moon!

In our recent post Saving the titanic we went through possible benefits of mobile payment and its capabilities and tracking options of this new revolutionary services. It was not possible to go through such capabilities without touching the most critical term Privacy!

Mobile payment, privacyCurrently digitizing consumer life is always suspected and accused, with multiple cases and news about privacy hacking and the endless arguments if this is ethical or not, legal or not, you might refer to the recent announced news about Google via this link for a story about an internet user arrested due to illegal email contents.


Back to mobile payment, in a typical crime investigation you might be suspected and you will discover that the mini store you stopped by to buy a coke can was actually a hidden drug dealer.

Such obsesses will be doubled and might be a real showstopper for some set of customers, and it will increase wherever political or terrorism issues exists. In some cases shopping anonymously is a real need and its absence might block possible sales targets. You may now realize how Bitcoin and similar digital currencies found their way in.

To overcome this financial institutions, banks, MNO or even vendors must ensure that they are legally authorized and entitled for such financial services, and a preset agreement with regulators and government not to disclose customer information without certain approvals.

On the other side the service provider must state clearly in their contract under what circumstances they will release the customer data, another factor is the information sharing with 3rd parties. It sounds interesting to see an offer on a new mobile device dedicated for me as I was paying for the repair shop last week. But it also means I’m hacked and I’m fully monitored on the go!

This is not simple as social media sites situation, in social media I’m submitting my data and risk my privacy on my own and I’m still able to control what to be shared, but for payment I have no alternatives to pay for the coffee or maintenance.

Vendors must pay attention to this up rising risk, and it will not make sense to hand such controls over to the customer to decide when he will use his mobile wallet and when to go with cash as it will work against the mobile payment concept!

Very complicated indeed, and going through alternatives needs a separate article to carry on!

Khaled Sayed

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