Mobile banking and financial technology firms are changing the way consumers interact with financial products and services. One of the biggest questions about newly linked finance and tech innovations is: will my money be safe? Whether it’s a contactless payment system, a cheque-cashing app, an online loan or a peer-to-peer transfer, security is at the forefront of most consumers’ concerns with fintech development.
How can you know that your digitally managed money will remain secure?
Contactless payments, for instance, are popularly considered to be a security risk. There are even special anti-RF wallets that you can purchase in order to block the prying wireless signals of would-be scammers, but are such accessories necessary? Contactless cards are designed to work within a range of only a couple of inches, and they never leave your hand. The financial payments networks used to process contactless payments are the same networks that process millions of magnetic stripe transactions securely today – with added layers of encryption and authentication between the card’s RFID (radio frequency identification) tag and the scanner or reader provided at point of sale.
What about apps that help you send, organize and receive money? The first line of defense for consumers who bank through their mobile devices is is the app store or marketplace through which the initial download is made. Apple and Android apps go through a rigorous vetting process designed to root out fakes, phishing scams, or unscrupulous code buried in innocuous-looking utilities. Furthermore, the majority of mobile banking apps are backed by the infrastructure of major or Big Five institutions, whose level of security and investment in privacy is among the highest in the industry.
While there’s no explicit guarantee of security with an online financial portal, fintech lenders are obligated to protect your personal information under Canadian regulations. When visiting an alternative lending site, you can check for certain security indicators. Some sites use the HTTPS (secure hypertext transfer protocol) standard in their web addresses. Others will be certified by third parties such as McAfee and Digicert. You should also do your research with local Better Business Bureaus and even take to social media to see whether a lender looks like they offer legitimate services (and have been doing so for a credible amount of time.)
You should never follow a banking link sent to you in a text message or e-mail: these links could potentially lead you to a spoofed Web site that imitates the legitimate presence of a bank or lender. Also, a legitimate lender will never request your account information by email or phone.
Fintech lenders are among the most data-security-invested of financial companies, given that breaches of customer data could be life-threateningly costly both for the business and its customers. If you’ve hesitated to engage with the mobile and digital realm when it comes to the security of your money, you can rest assured that the majority of options come built with extensive protection of your hard-earned assets.