The FCA’s thematic review on mobile banking and payments

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In August 2012, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the first of a series of thematic reviews on the mobile payment industry (a term the FCA uses widely to describe a mobile-based banking app or NFC payment). The FCA’s report sets out what it sees as the primary risks for consumers using mobile payments and arguably points the way for where future FCA scrutiny and supervision will be focused as new payment technologies emerge. The six ‘risks’ picked up by the FCA are: 

Fraud: the FCA does not state that the likelihood of fraud is higher for mobile banking, but that the risks are ‘different’ from other channels such as online banking. The FCA is concerned as to what steps firms are taking to detect and prevent the risk and impact of fraud. Given the consumer focus, this may not simply be a matter of implementing robust systems and controls but also how firms deal with consumers to resolve the ‘inconvenience and stress’ caused by fraudulent transactions. 

Security: the FCA’s particular focus here is the risk of malware or viruses upon downloading a mobile banking application. Firms are expected to take steps to manage these risks such as warning consumers or providing anti-virus software…

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