While mobile commerce has seen its share of roadblocks, a major hurdle that’s starting to see some attention is regulation in terms of mobile payments. With consumers leery of the concept to begin with, solid regulation is a must going forward.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit testing and information organization which publishes Consumer Reports, called on regulators today to implement protective standards on mobile payments and educate consumers on the security risks and liabilities associated with mobile commerce in general.
The basis of the complaint stems from the fact that federal law currently protects credit or debit card holders from many charges associated with lost, stolen or misused cards, but without industry-wide rules for so-called “digital wallet” providers, consumers could risk losing money through fraud, merchant disputes or processing mistakes, the group warned.
While mobile payments hooked into credit cards are relatively safe, those hooked to debit cards and especially carrier-billing arrangements pose several security risks. The group is pushing for the ability to provide consumers with limited liability for unauthorized transactions and the right to argue about certain charges, no matter the method of payment facilitating mobile payments. Such industry-wide standards are more than necessary to advance the cause and ensure consumers are comfortable with the concept.