In 2007, Steve Jobs set of a revolution that would have far wide implications for people everywhere. That year he introduced the iPhone which was a revolutionary product very different then the Blackberry in many respects. Several years later the iPad was introduced kicking off another revolution which was referred to as the start of the post-PC era. As consumers from all walks of life embraced these and other competitive smartphone and tablet devices, merchants started taking a hard look at these wonders of technology for use in payment processing. As a result, an entire industry focused on offering mobile payment processing solutions sprang up offering merchants a variety of solutions. However, before selecting a mobile payment processing solution their are a few things merchants need to know when offering this option to their customer.
- Make sure you lock your smartphone or tablet - Setting a passcode for your device is one of the easiest things to do to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your smartphone or tablet. Also when setting your passcode don't use common number combinations (0000, 1234, 1111, etc.) since that makes it easier for unauthorized individuals to access your mobile payment processing device.
- Do not store card information on the device - If their is no service available for your smartphone or tablet to connect to, it may decide to store your customers card information on the actual device. Be careful when this occurs as it makes the device more vulnerable to being compromised the longer the card information is stored on your device. To avoid this, check to see if the app you are using to process cards has a "store and forward" feature. If it does, simply turn off this feature.
- Do not use a jailbroken smartphone or tablet - If your device has been jailbroken (meaning you have gained superuser rights to install apps or features not allowed by the manufacturer or carrier) you may be in for some trouble. These type of devices may have vulnerabilities that may pose a risk to the card information your customers have entrusted you with during their time of purchase. In addition, delete any apps that may have been installed as a result of a jailbroken smartphone or tablet.
As more and more merchants become comfortable and understand the importance of mobile payment processing to their business, it becomes even more important to understand certain ideas to fully leverage these new technologies.