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Safer shopping on your mobile phone

28 August 2009

We’re working with mobile phone companies to make sure criminals don’t take advantage of new technology that allows people to use their mobile phone like a debit or credit card.

Several phone companies and banks are trialling the new technology, which allows customers to buy things by swiping their phone over a sensor in a similar way to Oyster cards.

Tough new security measures

We’ve been working with these industries make sure they built in tough security measures at the earliest possible stage. These measures will prevent phone thieves or cloners  from being able to take advantage of the new technology. The industry has committed to making sure consumers are not put at an increased risk, particularly young people, who are traditionally the earliest users of such technology.

Some of the guidelines to keep customers safe include:

  • making sure bank details, phones and SIMs are disabled as soon as possible once phones are reported lost or stolen
  • any transactions above the maximum contactless payment value (currently £10) will require verification, such as a pin code
  • additional security such as a pin codes will also be required if more than a certain number of smaller transactions are carried out in a row
  • encouraging those who sign up for a contactless payment phone to add their details on the National Mobile Phone Register (NMPR), making it easier for stolen phones to be identified and recovered.

‘Exciting new development’

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said, ‘These guidelines are an important step forward in protecting the public from criminals and I am pleased that the mobile and banking industries have worked with us to ensure that the public are protected at the earliest opportunity.

‘This technology is an exciting new development but we must continue to work together to reduce any new opportunities for criminals to profit from mobile theft. As new technologies like this develop we aim to consider where safeguards can be incorporated at the drawing board stage.’

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