These days there’s not much that our mobile devices can’t do. And now with an extra bit of hardware they can do even more.

The introduction of mobile card readers has many small business owners and market stall operators throwing out their old cash registers and EFTPOS machines. To accept transactions on their Apple or Android devices. But just how safe are these mobile credit card readers?


What are Mobile Card Readers?

Currently, the most common way of accepting credit card payments through mobile and other portable devices is through the use of mobile card readers.

Mobile card readers are:

  •    Palm-sized and fit into the headphone jack, or something similar, of an Apple or Android device.
  •    Allow businesses to accept credit cards anywhere by physically swiping the card.
  •    Take a cut of the transaction amount.
  •    Only support card present transactions, without offering any e-commerce facilities.

Being able to accept credit cards on your mobile (regardless of whether you have a brick and mortar store, or run a florist shop at a local market) can dramatically increase your sales and streamline your invoice process. But just how safe is this new hardware?

It’s important you know the risks involved with these technologies and the steps you can take to ensure you’re using a secure mobile payment solution.

What Threat Do They Pose?

Although these readers are extremely convenient, many customers are still concerned about credit card security. And according to recent studies, it appears these concerns are well- founded.

ISACA is a non-profit organisation that has gathered profound results, with a global survey that questioned 900 cybersecurity experts. The results concluded that experts believe the following;

  •    47% claimed that mobile card readers are not secure.
  •    87% anticipated the increase of mobile payment data breaches over the next year, with the introduction of more and more credit card readers.

Many of the popular credit card readers out there aren’t secure because they don’t comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). PCI  is an important set of criteria designed to protect cardholder data.

The proliferation of these devices and the market adoption rate are so rapid that the PCI Council hasn’t had time to release formal standards for mobile payment or smartphone tablets. Because of this, many popular credit card readers fail to encrypt credit card information, which leaves customers vulnerable to credit card fraud.

All a skimmer has to do to hack into the data is to develop an application that receives the unencrypted data, scan or copy the card and then use the information to make fraudulent purchases.

The Security then becomes the concern of consumers and merchant as they have to deal with the hassles and extra costs that come with fraud and chargeback issues.

What Can You Do?

So, now you know there are risks involved with using mobile credit card readers, but you still need to be able to accept payments on the go. So how can you do this securely?

Safe2pay allows you to enter your customer’s payment information into your phone to accept the payment while maintaining the highest level of security available. It is a truly mobile, convenient and simple solution. 

There are also further steps you can take to ensure you’re always accepting mobile payments safely.

  • Step 1: Ensure Your Provider Uses Point-to-Point Encryption

Point-to-point encryption means that the cardholder’s data is encrypted before it even the enters the smartphone or tablet. It will stay encrypted  through the entire journey.

Safe2Pay not only offers point-to-point encryption but adds their unique patent protected tokenisation generating a one-time user token that masks a customer’s real payment details keeping their private information safe.

  • Step 2: Make Sure Your Mobile Device Is Safe and Up to Date

You can do this by checking two main things including,

  • Making Sure Your Mobile Device Is Not Compromised

If you’ve bought a used phone, there’s a possibility that it could have been tampered with or “jailbroken.” The majority of mobile device breaches happen when a phone is in this condition. It’s easy to check, just follow the steps outlined on any website.

  • Always Update Your Phone to the Latest Version

To ensure that you are as secure as possible, you should update to the latest version of iOS, Android, MS or Blackberry.

  • Step 3: Don’t Store Card Data.  

Often when there is no network connection some gateways have a function that stores card data on the mobile until it can connect. The longer data lingers on a device, even if encrypted, the higher the risk of that information being hacked or misused. To be safe, check to see if your payment acceptance application has this store and forward feature and if so, switch it off. Safe2Pay’s patent protected tokenisation means that your customer’s card data is always safe and secure.

  • Step 4: Lock Your Mobile Device  

Securing a PIN on your phone may sound obvious, however, believe it or not, there are people out there who don’t lock their phone. Android phones allow the use of a “pattern,” but patterns can easily be compromised, so care should be taken. Also, don’t use common PINs with consecutive numbers. Without these measures put in place the information on your phone becomes extremely vulnerable.

  • Step 5: Sign Up with Safe2Pay

Safe2pay’s revolutionary payment gateway is the best platform to give you true mobile security. You can enjoy the flexibility of taking payments anywhere knowing you and your customers are safe. With our simple to use virtual dashboard processing all your sales in real time. Settlement occurs within 48 hours so you can plan your business easily and do what you do best.

The Tools You Need

  • An Internet Merchant account (a holding account for your customer’s payments before being transferred to your business bank account).
  • A Payment gateway (the safe pipe through which payments securely move from your website to your bank and after that your internet merchant account.
  • A mobile or tablet).

All of which can be provided by Safe2Pay and their comprehensive payment services.

Safe2Pay makes it hassle-free to accept payments by mobile. Follow the basic precautions above and sign up now to take payments on your mobile device and at the same time, feel secure.

Don’t waste another minute, contact Safe2pay online or call our friendly team on 1800 723 327. We can get you selling using a mobile or any device. We look forward to welcoming you to Safe2Pay- your local and supportive payments provider.