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Security key for mobile wallet adoption, study finds 

WHETHER PAYING with contactless cards or mobile wallets, Thais prioritise security over convenience and are more likely to use contactless payment methods when they know strong security measures are in place, according to a recent study by Visa.

The “Visa Mobile Wallet and Contactless Study” found that the majority of Thais (82 per cent) believe security is more important than convenience. With accelerated growth in financial technology, the public and private sectors are grappling with ways to increase consumer confidence in electronic payments, particularly when it comes to transactions carried out on mobile devices. 
Thais spend an average of around 160 minutes a day on their mobile devices. By the end of this year, it is estimated that around 20 million people will own smartphones in Thailand, a figure expected to rise to 24.8 million by 2019. Although Internet access and mobile-device ownership among Thais are on the rise, uptake of mobile financial services has been gradual, partly because Thai consumers are unaware of advances in cybersecurity and technology. 
Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa country manager for Thailand, said that based on the study, the more secure the mobile-payment experience is, the more willing Thai consumers will be to use it. 
“We’re confident this cautious yet optimistic attitude, coupled with Visa’s multi-layered approach to security, will drive the uptake of mobile transactions in Thailand,” he said.
The study, independently conducted by YouGov on behalf of Visa, examines Thais’ attitudes towards mobile and contactless payments alongside those of Singapore and Malaysia. It finds that the three biggest fears in mobile-wallet security are hacking of mobile phone (73 per cent), theft of mobile phone (65 per cent) and getting charged for unintended purchases (63 per cent). 
“Among the respondents, only 39 per cent said they would consider using third-party mobile wallets. But within this particular group of potential adopters, 74 per cent are already aware of how encrypted tokens eliminate the risk of personal-data theft,” Suripong said. 
Visa Token Service (VTS) ensures mobile and contactless payments are secure as well as convenient, the company says. VTS replaces cardholder information such as account numbers and expiration dates with a unique digital identifier (a “token”) that can be used for payment, via a user’s mobile wallet, without exposing the cardholder’s more sensitive account information. 
Tokenisation hides consumers’ confidential account information during digital transactions, making digital payments more secure.
According to the study, about 55 per cent of Thais are familiar with VTS, with awareness highest among those who are also familiar with mobile-wallet technology. 
Just under half of Thais (46 per cent) believe paying with a mobile device is as safe as with physical cards, a figure likely to increase in the future as people become more familiar with advancements in mobile payment systems, Visa says. Three in five Thais (61 per cent) believe that one day they will no longer need to carry a card or cash and will instead be able to use their mobile wallets for everyday spending. 
“Once Thais become familiar with innovative security measures, such as encrypted tokens, they are much more likely to use mobile and contactless payments more regularly,” Suripong said.

Published : November 03, 2016