Vodafone Sticks with the PIN for mPayment System

unsplash_mobileVodafone has announced that it’s going to let customers add their bank cards to the Vodafone Wallet app, thereby letting them use their smartphones for contactless NFC payment at POS terminals. The development is the product of collaboration between Vodafone, Visa, and Carta Worldwide.

It will be a relatively simple process for customers to sign up. They simply need to input their bank card numbers into the Vodafone Wallet app, whereupon they’ll be authenticated by Verified by Visa. After that they’re off and running, able to tap their Android smartphones for payment at POS terminals, and to track their purchase histories via the app.

Speaking in a press release, Vodafone Head of mCommerce Mark Ritzmann proclaimed, “The digital wallet just took another step forward,” adding that, with the company’s “agreements with Visa and Carta Worldwide, using bank cards stored on Vodafone Wallet is fast, secure and simple.”

Interestingly, the service relies on PIN security, with users bankcards “protected with a user-defined 4-digit PIN for higher value payments.” In the age of mCommerce and mPayments, a number of security experts and groups like the FIDO Alliance have pointed out the inadequacy of such security systems, advocating instead for multi-factor user authentication, ideally involving biometrics. Still, a recent MasterCard survey called into question how much consumers really care about the security of mPayment platforms, which means that Vodafone’s new service could prove popular despite its security shortcomings.