Target Stores Will Soon Accept Mobile Payment, But How Secure Is It? (Trivalent + Rehmann on WZZM 13 News)

Target is among the latest retailers to accept mobile pay, and the move might impact the security of your transactions.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – If Target is one of your favorite places to shop, you will soon have new ways to pay.

The company announced in a few weeks, all stores will accept Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, as well as contactless cards from Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover.

John Hey, the Chief Operating Officer at the IT company Trivalent Group, explained what this move means for the security of your transactions.

“You basically assemble a mobile wallet on your phone, but you have no actual credit card information stored there,” Hey said. “It’s all encrypted. It’s safe. It’s not transmitted to Apple, it’s not transmitted to the merchant.”

All it takes is a “tap.”

“What’s called near-field communication you’re simply, wirelessly, talking to the payment, you’re not giving a chance for a skimmer to do its job,” Hey said.

With convenience, comes peace of mind.

“That physical hack is no longer available, so in that sense it’s actually more secure to actually use the mobile pay,” Hey said.

People with mobile payment set up on their iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Android or smart watch, will hold their device near the card reader to pay.

People using contactless credit or debit cards will, similarly, tap their card on the reader screen at checkout.

Your trust in Target might be tattered after the massive data breach in late 2013, but this is a solid step toward better security.

“It eliminates that whole vulnerability of that point-of-sale terminal being compromised, so for them I think this is great,” Hey said.

Target isn’t alone in this technological transformation. According to Apple’s announcement, 74 of the top 100 merchants in the U.S. and 65 percent of retail locations across the country now accept Apple Pay.

Hey said the U.S. is behind places like Europe and Australia, where methods like Apple Pay are widespread.

Taco Bell and Speedway convenience stores are also among the latest merchants to support Apple Pay in the U.S.

“Then will be the Walmarts and Home Depots and everything else, they will all follow along and bring us up to speed,” Hey said.

Hey shared the following recommendations on how to protect your personal information using mobile payments:

  1. Use two-factor authentication to access your credit card information.
  2. Don’t update your phone, mobile wallet or credit card information on public wifi – do that securely on your home network.
  3. Treat your phone like your wallet, and be extra careful not to lose it.


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