Consumers fear 'wave and pay' apps will leave them open to hackers

Consumers fear phone hackers will crack mobile wallets, according to the findings of a new study.

The research, by Intersperience, revealed that while just 17% of Britons are ready to use their phones to make purchases, the fear that use of 'wave and pay' apps will leave them open to increasingly sophisticated hackers.

Of the people polled, nearly half said that 'security concerns' were their number one fear while 24% said using a mobile for payment "feels less secure but I don't know why", and a further 24% believe their mobile is more likely to be stolen than their wallet.

The study coincides with the new mobile electronic wallet system by Google which has been trialled in the US but isn't due to launch in the UK until next year.

However, according to the findings, phone hacking fears are the number one concern for consumers and this could well hamper UK adoption of new 'swipe-and-pay' smartphone systems.

In addition, high profile phone hacking scandals also appear to have affected consumers' worries over security issues with one respondent saying: "After the recent phone hacking scandals it's clear that mobiles can be hacked. I'd be worried criminals would learn to do it."

Intersperience CEO Paul Hudson said that they had "detected a marked rise in security concerns when people use devices with mobile internet access compared to fixed access via PCs," and that "These beliefs will impact the pace at which UK consumers adopt mobile payment systems."

Currently only eight percent of adults use their mobiles for payment though Intersperience found that this is expected to increase as 21 percent of respondents said they would like to use their phone to buy something in future.

Commenting on the study, Hudson said: "Today's adults may be adopting a cautious stance on mobile payments but we expect the next generation to be more enthusiastic. Digital Natives will be in the vanguard of mobile commerce."

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