Keeping Peer-to-Peer Transactions Secure

  • Internet Fraud

Its easy to connect to the Internet outside of your home and office thanks to mobile devices. Whether youre accessing mobile banking, online shopping or social networks, you can do just about anything from your mobile device. Consumers have long wanted a simple way to send money to other individuals. So far weve seen services like PayPal and Venom, but none have really passed the simplicity test. Along with making the process simple, businesses need to remember that criminals are constantly looking to take advantage of unsecure wireless networks, third party applications and e-mail to acquire personal information.

Square recently announced a new service called Square Cash. This service lets you send cash to peers via e-mail. The process is simple and easy to use. First, you open your email program, enter the address of the person you want to send money to, copy cash@square.com in the CC field and type the amount you want to send in the subject line, then hit send. The first time you try to send money, Square sends an e-mail asking you to connect your Visa or MasterCard debit card. There is no log in or password required. You can send up to $250 a week without doing anything else. Or $2,500 a week if you provide additional details to prove to Square that youre an actual person.

Digital transactions, like Square Cash, are susceptible to payment fraud and identity theft because the lack of identity verification. Square says it can reverse transfers that you did not authorize which it expects you to notice by the email that is generated when a transaction occurs. The company makes no guarantees of repaying funds that are moved fraudulently. There is also no transaction history beyond the e-mails. The fact that there is no login or security measure within this program means that there will be easy access for criminals to compromise your mobile device, e-mail account and debit card. Security will be a big test moving forward with this service. If criminals begin using this service they will easily be able to transfer money to other criminals from stolen cards.