Mobile Wallets Grab the Attention of Hackers: 5 Things to Know for the Week

Simon Zhen

Posted on Mon Jul 30, 2012

The advent of mobile wallet introduces a convenience to many consumers and, unfortunately, hackers too. Instead of card-skimming at ATMs or gas stations, fraudsters could simply place a card reader within range of your smartphone or attach a hidden sticker to a payment reader when you are checking out at the drugstore. Will such security threats pose headwinds to mobile-wallet adoption?

  • On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve will hold its next board meeting to discuss the economy and the central bank’s monetary policy. During the last meeting, analysts anticipated some mention of another round of economic stimulus but the Fed just said that it was prepared to take action if the economy slips. We’ll see how the Fed feels about the recent economic activity and if any action will happen.
  • On Wednesday, Wells Fargo will completely shut down its debit card rewards program. Any points that are not redeemed by Tuesday, July 31 will be forfeited. Last year, Well Fargo closed program enrollment in April and stopped giving points in October. Like many any major banks, Wells Fargo is dropping its debit card rewards program after new regulations reduced revenue on debit card transactions.
  • On Thursday, Bank of America customers with iPhones and Windows Phones will get a new update on their mobile banking applications that allow them to make deposits remotely. Customers with accounts for less than three months can deposit up to $1,000 per month. Those with accounts for at least three months can deposit up to $5,000 per month. MyBankTracker has the schedule for roll-out on other devices.
  • As mobile wallets begin their way into consumers’ hands, hackers are examining how mobile payments work — to learn how they work and how they can steal users’ financial information. At a recent hacker conference, security experts look at ways to intercept information that is transmitted through near field communications (NFC) technology.
  • A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acknowledges the significant costs and strict terms of private student loans. One way to help student-loan borrowers is to change the current law that prevents student loans from being discharged during bankruptcy.

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