Money Management

[Study] 52% Aren’t Concerned With Payment App Security, Yet Financial Data Is at Risk

Sometimes it doesn’t take lengthy for manufacturers to maneuver their method into our vocabulary. Multimillion-dollar companies change into interchangeable with verbs. How many instances have you ever heard “Google it” or “I’ll Venmo you”?

For many individuals, that may result in belief past question — even when it means permitting entry to one among their most confidential belongings: money.

We carried out a survey to learn the way Americans understand fee apps. We discovered that though 90 million Americans use fee apps, most individuals aren’t involved concerning the safety of them.

Some key findings embrace:

  • More than half (52%) of individuals aren’t involved with the safety of fee apps.
  • Only 19% of individuals learn fee apps’ privateness insurance policies.
  • Almost one-third (30%) of individuals have determined towards downloading a fee app on account of safety issues.

Half of People Aren’t Concerned About Payment App Security

Mobile fee apps have launched a comfort like no different. If you overlook your pockets, paying on your invoice is as straightforward as swiping your smartphone or smartwatch. But whereas many individuals have been fast to undertake this new method of fee, not all have regarded into what sort of knowledge they’re disclosing by utilizing it.

In truth, our survey discovered that 52% of respondents weren’t involved concerning the safety of the fee apps they use.

That’s an extremely excessive quantity, contemplating person-to-person apps like PayPal, Venmo, and Square usually are not fraud-proof. In truth, Venmo reported a $40 million loss in fraud reimbursements through the first quarter of 2018 alone.

What’s particularly regarding about these numbers is that the majority fee app scams rely not on difficult platform hacks or malware, however on easy lack of know-how. One common digital wallet scam entails an “accidental payment” adopted by a fast “oops” message requesting it’s returned. Later, the sufferer finds out the unique fee was made with a stolen card, and the stolen funds will likely be faraway from the sufferer’s account, not the fraudster’s.

And whereas 20% of individuals mentioned they’ve had safety issues, in addition they mentioned these issues don’t stop them from persevering with to make use of these apps.

Few People Read Privacy Policies

A privateness coverage assertion shares how a company will accumulate, retailer, defend, and use the personal knowledge you share with them. Consumers are supposed to learn them with a purpose to make knowledgeable selections. However, typically they’re too difficult to understand, main folks to skim them or skip studying them altogether.

Why is it vital to learn the privateness coverage statements of fee apps? Even extra so than different platforms, digital wallets usually expose personal info to the general public — and that personal info can land you proper within the middle of a fraudster’s goal.

A coder and privateness researcher, Hang Do Thi Duc, dug into the security issues with Venmo, revealing the scary particulars that anybody can be taught via the personal info folks share on the app. The textual content and time stamps of transactions folks make create a window to their lives. For instance, by analyzing the transactions of a single meals cart vendor, Do Thi Duc was capable of determine the seller’s most frequent patrons, how usually they made purchases, and at what time of day they may very well be anticipated to go to.

Depending on the context, this info can expose customers to every part from advertising schemes to theft, assault, and blackmail.

Security Isn’t Top of Mind When Downloading New Payment Apps

While downloading an app can take mere seconds, the patron’s determination to obtain it within the first place can take even much less time. We requested customers in the event that they’ve ever determined towards downloading an app on account of safety issues, and solely 31% mentioned sure.

Almost half (43%) of respondents mentioned they haven’t determined towards downloading a fee app on account of safety causes, whereas 26% of individuals have by no means thought-about utilizing fee apps.

Ideally, customers ought to be deciding whether or not or to not obtain and use a fee app solely after studying the privateness coverage and figuring out that the app shouldn’t be placing their info safety at threat. At a minimal, customers ought to learn sufficient of the privateness assertion to be taught:

  • What info the app is accumulating
  • Whether your info will likely be used for secondary functions (equivalent to advertising)
  • Whether your info will likely be shared with third events
  • What the app’s coverage is on sharing info with legislation enforcement
  • Whether info is protected in all phases of assortment and storage
  • Whether the app permits customers to delete their knowledge
  • Whether the app makes use of personal info to build consumer profiles for non-primary use

Skimming or looking out the privateness assertion for the phrases bolded above may help customers find crucial info within the coverage with out studying the total doc phrase for phrase. By answering these questions, customers can be taught whether or not an app will promote their knowledge, use it for advertising and promoting functions, or retailer it in a method that leaves it susceptible to hacks.

How to Make Your Payment Apps More Secure

Experts say that if you happen to’ve downloaded one among these apps, there are precautions you possibly can take to make your info safer, together with:

  • Read the Privacy Policy. Learn how your info is being collected and the way entrepreneurs or advertisers can use it.
  • Use a Password Generator. Password safety is essential in securing your monetary info. Use a password generator to give you and defend your password.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication. Go a step additional with password safety and configure an additional layer of safety with two-factor authentication.
  • Secure Your Lock Screen. Don’t cease at a safe login to the app. Make certain your telephone can also be locked so your info isn’t compromised in case your telephone is lost or stolen.
  • Make It Private. Although it may be amusing to make use of Venmo as a social community, doing so can compromise your safety. Switch your fee settings to personal so your fee historical past and time stamps aren’t obtainable publicly.
  • Enable Notifications. Make certain you’re notified of any funds or adjustments to your account so you possibly can tackle them rapidly if you happen to didn’t authorize them.
  • Monitor Your Bank Accounts. Don’t neglect your financial institution accounts. Regularly monitor their exercise so you possibly can alert your financial institution if one thing doesn’t look proper.

By taking these steps, you’ll really feel extra comfy — and preserve your personal info safer — when downloading and utilizing fee apps.


This examine was carried out for Money Crashers utilizing Google Consumer Surveys. The pattern consisted of no fewer than 1,000 accomplished responses per question. This survey was carried out in June 2020.

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