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New iPhone App Promises Secure Electronic Transactions for Small Retailers

23 February 2010 - 14:17 by Simon Crisp

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Recent surges in smartphone ownership, combined with the growing retail market of the recovering global economy, have together inspired something of an explosion in mobile commerce. Indeed, 'Mobile Commerce,' a new study completed by ABI Research, highlights the extent to which mobile shopping and payments have grown over the previous two years. The figures show that payments made via mobile phones totalled around $396 million in the US in 2008, rising to $1.2 billion in 2009 (and over $10 billion in Japan). Future projections predict that by 2015, the global total for mobile shopping online will have risen to around $119 billion (8% of the e-commerce market).

These figures are inspiring in their demonstration of users' faith in the security of mobile commerce, but it would currently seem that electronic payment companies have yet to fully catch up with the challenges involved with securing the new technology for shopping online. This has, until now, left some loopholes in the mobile payments system that could be exploited by cyber thieves looking to gain sensitive user details. However, VeriFone, an international firm providing secure payment processing for safe shopping online, recently announced an iPhone app targeted toward making mobile commerce a safer experience for the customers of small retailers and other businesses.

The app, known as the 'PAYware Mobile App,' is now available on Apple's AppStore and provides purchasers with the software element of VeriFone's card encryption product. The as-of-yet unreleased hardware portion, a card-swiping sleeve that sits over the main body of the iPhone, must be bought separately. However, both the app and the card-swiping sleeve appear likely to be available free of charge if a retailer signs up for a PAYware gateway services agreement with VeriFone.