Whether you are trying to pay a bill, order something online or just trying your luck at an internet casino, safety of the payment system is of paramount importance. A single mistake can result in phishers and scammers stealing your financial details, which could prove to be very costly. So, how do you make sure that your financials are safe while spending money online? By sticking with reliable websites and trusted payment systems. How do you make sure they are safe options? That's exactly what we are going to discuss next with the help of the following points.
Safety Begins at Home
The computer you are using to surf the internet is the first thing that you need to secure. Make sure that the OS running on it is original first because that's the most important aspect of cyber safety. Next, you need to install a good antivirus software with real-time internet protection. This will give you continuous protection even if you are led towards a phishing page or a site that's deemed unsafe. The antivirus will detect and stop suspicious activities automatically and warn you of the danger immediately.
The main advantage that electronic wallets have over using credit cards and debit cards directly is the fact that they keep your card information safe. For example, internet casinos are a hotspot for cyber criminals, so they are always looking to phish card info from unsuspecting users and that's precisely why online casino PayPal payment option is the safest choice to make. PayPal being one of the world's most popular and also one of the most reliable online payments system, your financial info remains safe with them and you don't ever have to risk giving away your valuable financial information on a scam site or phishing page. The best part is that almost everyone accepts PayPal these days!
Do Your Research
If you are going to play at an unknown internet casino or shop at an ecommerce site that you know little of, use Google. See what other people are saying about the site and go through user experiences to get an idea of what to expect. Some sites even have a trust score for users to check.
Check the Link/URL
The best and often the only way to avoid an active phishing attack is to check the URL in your browser or mail. For example, does it say https://amazon.com or does it say https://amazon.us/gb5hgy/login-id? Most authentic websites do not use a string of random alphabets at the end like that and Amazon USA is just called Amazon.com, so there's no amazon.us domain. Beware of little details like that at all times.
The rule of thumb is, if something looks out of place, then that's because it is! Don't take chances with your finances online and be safe by following the few simple precautions mentioned here.
The mobile payments market has come along leaps and bounds in the past few years. We've went from using them hesitantly to making these payments a part of our everyday lives. Even in stores that accept contactless or for sending money to one another, we've been using this payment method more and more.
Right now, there's a massive war ongoing between various payment providers. Alternate payment providers, like Apple Pay and PayPal are now becoming even more popular than banks. This is because they are flexible, easy to use and generally don't add extra charges to their payments. These eWallet services now offer a viable alternative to traditional banking, which users are quickly catching on to.
Back in 1998, PayPal first came onto the scene and there's no question that this revolutionised how we pay. This product was well placed at the beginning of the online shopping boom and this was a great time for this to occur. People wanted to experiment with online payments but were still wary of the dangers that it posed. PayPal was a convenient way for users to get extra security while using this service.
As far as payment methods are concerned, PayPal is still king. This is true in just about every sector, from online shopping to gambling. The sheer number of sites accepting this payment method is almost frightening, as it's undoubtedly the most popular eWallet. Take mobile bingo pay with phone bill sites as an example, these bingo sites outnumber those that accept Neteller, Bitcoin or Paysafecard.
Through using these alternate payment methods, the online gambling sector is able to entice even more players that perhaps would not have deposited if this was not an option. This helps the industry to look more legitimate and get rid of some of the stigma surrounding the industry.
Apps for mobile payments just make the whole process much more convenient. Players can easily keep an eye on what they're spending and their own security. Banking providers are attempting to keep up with this by pioneering their own apps but these don't usually have quite as much flexibility. They also have more stringent security, often requiring three step processes to verify a payment.
For this reason, alternate mobile payment methods like PayPal must have more fraud protection in the case that their security is subverted. This allows them to offer easier ways to make payments while still accepting liability if they are breeched, which makes users a lot more comfortable.
In the future, it seems that Google will be one of the driving forces of innovation. They're currently working on a product that would use the contactless of your card, while it's still in your handbag. All of their innovation seems to be geared towards making the process easier and faster for users to pay.
Over the next few years, we'll probably see some massive changes to the way we pay with mobile. PayPal will likely still top the charts but this could shift quickly if another payment method does things better.
Many people are only just getting to grips with the fact we're edging closer and closer to a cashless society. But such is the pace of technology we may also be saying goodbye to our flexible friends as credit cards are being replaced by mobile payments.
It's estimated that over 47% of people in China now use mobile wallets to pay while in Norway that percentage is 42% and the UK, 24%. That's a significant proportion given it's a relatively new concept and puts the card in significant danger of extinction.
Methods of payment are becoming much less physical no matter what the industry. In stores we can now pay via our smartphones, our travel cards are hooked directly to our bank accounts and even in online gaming we can simply sync up our mobile phone account and play pay by mobile slots. That means there's absolutely no need to enter card details, it is simply added to your bill at the end of the month.
These new methods are edging the more traditional formats of payment out and the new generation are certainly favouring mobile ahead of carrying around a physical wallet.
That's only going to continue. By 2022 it's estimated that $14trillion will be spent via mobile pay and it makes sense with security measures forever increasing.
Predictions are expecting that digital wallets will surpass card payments by 2021, and will even more useful ways such as phone bill charging and cryptocurrency also popular we could be completely virtual sooner than we think.
As you'd probably expect it's millenials who have adopted it the quickest. Around half of 18-34 year olds use a mobile wallet, compared to just 20% of those 65+. That will change with education though as more and more people realise it's the smarter option.
Online wallets and brands like Android Pay and Apple Pay use incredibly secure systems and technology. They don't actually use cardholder data to connect with outside payment devices, but rather technology called tokenization which essentially encrypts your data to ensure secure payment.
That's on top of a number of other safety features which make it much more security conscious than carrying around your credit card in your pocket.
This is starting to become more understood by people and whether it be mobile phone bill payments to gaming sites or using Apple Pay in a department store, the less you connect your own bank details with other networks, the less chance you have of having your data breached.
Over the next few years, mobile payment is going to continue to transform how we live our lives. Wearable tech is already allowing us to use this as a method of payment, while mobile wallets are only going to get more secure and simple for us to use.
The cashless society is almost complete. The cardless is also well and truly on the horizon.
As the most recent statistics from OFCOM reveal, mobile phone use in the UK is now almost universal with 94% of adults owning or using a mobile (Q1 2017). Of these, 76% have a smartphone (Q1 2017), while the number of households that are ‘mobile only' has risen to 18%. Combined with this significantly greater use, the proliferation of apps that we use for everything from booking tickets to watching what we eat would seem to suggest that our reliance on our mobile devices is only going to increase.
One of the most significant changes that mobile technology has brought about is the way we pay for goods and services. There has been a rapid and significant increase in the number of people in the UK who make purchases both online and in person using a mobile phone.
This has in large part been brought about by a significant increase in the use of contactless payment cards across the UK, along with other mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, Boku, along with a burgeoning range of person-to-person (P2P) apps that enable you to instantly transfer money electronically to another individual, often without having to go through a bank.
However, while the number of contactless card payments in the UK as a whole has grown exponentially (more than £25 billion was spent via contactless payments in 2016), it has been interesting to note that UK consumers have not embraced other forms of mobile payment quite so readily. For instance, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay have not quite had the impact many expected (despite the fact that the number of Apple Pay transactions in 2016 grew by 300%).
While most people in the UK are more than happy to use a contactless debit or credit card (i.e., a card that does not need to be inserted into a card reader and for which no PIN is required) to make a payment at a supermarket or coffee shop, they have not necessarily seen the need to move over to alternative payment systems where only a mobile phone is needed, such as those offered by Apple, Google and Samsung. For instance, payments made using Apple Pay or Android Pay by passengers on Transport for London services account for only 8% of all contactless card payments (albeit this figure is up from 3.5% twelve months earlier).
Security concerns are cited by some as preventing them embracing card-free payment technology, while others have not seen a pressing need to adopt the technology given that existing ‘tap and go' or ‘wave and pay' cards largely do the same job. There is also the sentiment expressed by many consumers that losing a mobile phone or having it stolen is a traumatic enough experience without the added complication of card security being compromised as well.
Another reason that has prevented greater uptake of mobile payment services has been their hitherto relatively limited acceptance, meaning that consumers haven't found that there are enough opportunities to use the system to warrant switching over to it entirely.
However, two important factors point towards much faster growth in the mobile payments sector in the very near future. Firstly, the demographics. The latest available data from 2016 showed that almost 60% of payments made in the UK using Apple Pay or Android Pay were by users aged 16-34. If these early adopters continue to use the technology moving forward, this will impact significantly on the overall number of users, as currently only 3% of users are aged 65 or more. In ten to fifteen years, however, we can expect to see a much wider spread of age groups experienced in and used to using mobile payments.
Another game-changer could be Apple Pay's move to accept limitless payments. To date, most card readers that accept contactless payments (both mobile phone and card) have a maximum transaction limit of £30. However, the majority of tills in the UK that accept Apple Pay are now able to process payments greater than £30, and it is expected that this will have a dramatic impact on uptake rates, and will give the mobile payment system a distinct advantage over bank-issued contactless debit and credit cards.
Android Pay too is making inroads in this sector, and while uptake has been slower than expected since its introduction to the UK in 2016, the fact that 60% of the mobile phones in the UK use the Android operating system would suggest that there is much unrealised potential for growth. The launch of Samsung Pay, and the Barclays Bank mobile payment system (available through its own native mobile banking app) have further broadened the choice for consumers in this area as well.
Therefore, it would seem to be the case that while acceptance of mobile payment systems in the UK has been steady rather than explosive, a significant incremental increase in uptake is expected to continue. And whether people are aware of it or not, it will soon be the case that just about everyone in the UK will soon be carrying in their pocket or purse the mobile technology to pay for a coffee, buy the week's shopping, or book a holiday, without the need for a conventional plastic card at all.
Popular mobile payment methods
As well as direct mobile payment systems, there are many other ways in which mobile phones can be used to buy goods and services in the UK.
Pay by Mobile
Pay by Mobile is an increasingly popular way of making payments via a mobile phone. When you make a purchase using Pay by Mobile on a service like Boku or Fortumo, the amount you spend is added to your monthly mobile phone bill if you are on a post-paid plan, or deducted from your balance if you are on pay-as-you-go.
The Pay by Mobile payment method has proved very popular with the young, and payment solutions like Boku are frequently used in the leisure sector, with mobile casinos for instance offering a range of payment methods and Pay by Mobile options. Carrier billing payment methods are also a popular alternative for those without traditional banking arrangements, such as credit or debit cards, and are an especially convenient way of making in-app purchases or subscribing to streaming services. There are also specialist services like PayByPhone that enable you to pay for your parking across the UK with your mobile phone, or OboPay which enables you to make person-to-person payments that are charged to your mobile phone account.
Another reason for the popularity of Pay by Mobile payment systems like Boku is that the costs are charged to the merchant rather than the user, making it a cost-effective way of making digital and online purchases.
One of the most significant developments in carrier billing services in the last year has been a proposed partnership between Boku and ALTBalaji to stream original video content to customers globally. This will no doubt further increase the appeal of highly convenient Pay by Mobile payment systems.
E-wallets have long been one of the most popular online payment methods and they can be used for mobile payments as well. Skrill and Neteller are the two most prominent and widely accepted e-wallets, and can be used to make online purchases for a wide variety of goods and services via mobile. Many users appreciate the security that e-wallets give them, as they act as a third-party middle man between you and any retailer or service provider you deal with so that they don't have access to your bank account or credit card details.
There are fees attached to using e-wallets, usually when you make a deposit into your account. However, most retailers or leisure providers that you deal with won't charge you for making a purchase or adding funds to a casino account, for instance.
Recently, both Skrill and Neteller expanded into offering P2P payments. With Skrill, all you need is the recipient's email address or mobile number, while for Neteller money transfers only an email address is required.
P2P payment apps
Person to Person mobile payments (generally known as P2P apps) are a quick and straightforward way of transferring money from one person to another using a mobile phone, often without the need for bank accounts. P2P apps are designed for transferring small amounts of cash, rather than large money transfers.
P2P apps have proved to be an especially popular way for friends to repay small amounts of money, or to share the costs of purchases or services (e.g., splitting the bill at dinner, or for buying tickets to a show or match), and there are a growing number on the market. Each has its own different capabilities, with one of the most notable differences being that some will require both parties to have the app, while others let you send cash to, or request money from, anyone with a mobile phone. The cost of using these apps will vary as well.
One of the most popular P2P apps in the UK is Paym. You link the app directly to your mobile or online banking account, and so any money you send goes straight from your account as it would with any other purchase. All you require to send money to a friend is their mobile phone number (the Paym app will access your contacts for this) and the recipient will get a text saying they have been sent cash by you (provided their bank supports the Paym system).
One of the biggest developments in P2P apps is the news that Facebook has now launched Person to Person payments in the UK. Using the Messenger app, you can send cash either from your mobile or your laptop, and once you have linked a debit card to the account there are no fees applied. There is a maximum transfer amount of £2,500, although like most P2P apps, the majority of people use it to transfer small sums to friends.
Contactless credit and debit cards
Currently, credit and debit cards remain the dominant form of contactless payment and are generally used more often than mobile payment methods. However, Barclays Bank has now launched its own mobile payment system which removes the need for a physical card and enables its customers to use their mobile phone to make purchases in the same way as they currently do with a tap-and-go card.
However, as discussed above, as Apple Pay and Android Pay make further inroads into the market, it is expected that other major high street banks will also launch their own mobile payment systems. And although no-one is expecting it to happen anytime soon, just as cash was overtaken in 2016 by contactless cards as the primary means of making physical purchases, it's not unreasonable to expect that plastic credit and debit cards will go the same way in the not-too-distant future.
The future of mobile payments
It's hard to imagine a future where mobile payments don't become the dominant means of making purchases both online and in physical stores, not only in the UK but globally. Mobile payments have become especially beneficial in underbanked regions of the world, most notably in Africa, and with the number of mobile phones users worldwide predicted to top 5 billion by 2019, the further uptake of mobile payment systems would seem inevitable.
As we carry more and more of our lives around in our mobile devices, it is logical to expect that we will further embrace technology that is integrated within these devices. Mobile payment systems reduce the need for physical cards, make transferring money quicker and easier, and enable us to access the growing number of digital and streaming services with greater ease. So even if your mobile phone isn't your wallet right now, you can almost certainly expect it to become so in the future.
From the creation of the world wide web to where the digital world is at now, the transformation has been incredible. The accessibility of technology has enhanced the digitalization of payment with finance no longer restricted to cash and the cheque book.
The digitalization of payment can be seen most pertinently in the rise of online gambling. With digital payments now completing transactions in seconds, the global online gambling market is expected to hit $94 billion of value by 2024 - double the current market size. A quick financial transaction for the best sports betting usa sites that are available at the touch of a fingertip from the comfort of your own home has ensured that the number of online bettors continues to ascend.
Indeed, an Online Casino Reports study in 2016 found that leading online casino and sports betting sites like www.oddshunter.ca were receiving almost 2000 visitors per day with hard cash no longer an issue.
This infiltration of technology and digital payments into everyday life has increased the likelihood of a cashless world as digital takes over the world of finance. But, just how has it done this?
The original and modern internets
Although stating the obvious, digital payments can only occur when there is an internet connection. It was 1969 and the creation of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) that set the ball rolling for the modern internet. It was the first time that the TCP/IP protocol suite had been used.
Though revolutionary, it hardly set the world alight and so it was up to Sir Tim Berners-Lee to develop the World Wide Web twenty years later. Hyperlinks were merged with web pages and sites that made digital payments realistic.
Online payments with eservices
Online payment services began with an important if troublesome development in 1994. The Stanford Federal Credit Union developed an online internet banking system - the first of its kind - yet it failed to hit the mark with the ordinary man in the street. Specific knowledge of data transfer protocol was needed, making the service difficult to use.
The 1990s, however, played an essential role in the rise of epayments. The likes of Millicent, ECash and CyberCoin began to provide ecash, digital tokens or tokens as cash alternatives in an attempt to digitalize payment. Ecommerce mogul Jeff Bezos created Amazon in 1994 too.
Paypal and Apple Pay
Now a frontrunner in epayment, Paypal has only been around since 1999. It took the service a while to get going, but once ebay users latched on to its ease of payment methods, Paypal usage rocketed. Different currencies and methods to reduce fraud have reinforced Paypal's superb reputation, and, as a result of its enormous growth, the service was given an EU banking license in 2007.
Even then though, digital payment is forever adapting and morphing into new and exciting projects. Apple Pay, launched in autumn 2014, allows iPhone users to scan their fingerprint to purchase goods. Google and Amazon have also made huge strides by improving wallet functionality and the ability to gamble online.
Where the future of payment lies
It's often described as a complicated service, but Bitcoin seems to be where digital payment is heading. Its creation in 2009 saw something important finally be realized: the success of a decentralized currency doubling spending in the absence of a central server or trusted body.
Bitcoin thus took epayment into previously uncharted territory, and can certainly be considered as the future of digital payment.
Digital payments have come a long way since the Stanford Federal Credit Union's attempts to found an online banking system in the early 1990s. But, the development of the modern internet and the consistent evolution of epayment services from Paypal to Apple Pay to now cryptocurrency, means a cashless society is no longer a fantasy. In fact, if bitcoin and the like continue their rapid growth, it could be a lot sooner than what most people think.