Secure mobile transactions
Maybank believes that Samsung Pay provides safe cashless payments.
SECURITY is a major factor when it comes to mobile wallets, and Maybank Group chief strategy officer Michael Foong assures that it is top priority where Samsung Pay is involved.
Samsung Pay digital wallet enables customers to make cashless payments charged to their Maybank cards via smartphones and other handheld devices, without having to use the physical credit or debit card. It can be used at any card terminal around the world where Samsung Pay is available.
“We have had many questions about whether binding your credit cards to your phone is inherently risky, and I can tell you that it is a lot more secure than carrying an analogue wallet in your back pocket or purse that contains a few plastic cards.
“Why do I say that? The first reason is behavioural. You could leave your handbag, or your wallet in your desk, and not refer to it for hours sometimes. But today’s behaviour is that the phone never leaves your sight. There is a higher probability of you losing your plastic card versus you losing your phone. When you lose your phone, you would realise it in a matter of minutes, but you could lose your plastic cards and not realise it for hours,” says Foong.
Unique safety features
However, the protection of data in Maybank and Samsung Pay lies deeper than just that, he says.
“Point number two is tokenisation. Your actual credit card number that is printed on your plastic card is not stored in your phone. Even if you could hack into the phone, you wouldn’t get the credit card number.”
Tokenisation is a method of protecting payment card information by substituting the card’s number with a unique alphanumeric identifier, generated using proprietary algorithms.
Tokenised data is not mathematically reversible and is useless unless you have the original key used to create the token, limiting the chance of your payment information being stolen or compromised.
The unique identifier, or token, is then used for sending the transaction to the card’s payment network, where it is decrypted and the transaction authorised. The actual card number is stored in a secret vault (with the payment processor or bank) and does not reside on the merchant’s or Samsung’s systems.
Tokenisation is used to reduce security risks inherent in the collection and transfer of highly sensitive data between merchants and the card’s payment network.
“The third point is biometrics. Even if the phone is stolen, without authentication by your fingerprint or your password, you cannot access the credit card that is bound to the phone,” explains Foong. “I firmly believe that payments using Samsung Pay are a lot more secure than walking around with credit cards or physical cash.”
And to further drive his point, Foong shares that Samsung Knox, a defence-grade, mobile security platform built into Samsung devices, provides the ultimate protection for Samsung Pay users.
“It is part of the hardware, where the details of the cards are stored. It is such a good technology, that if you try to hack into that part of the phone, it totally shuts down. The phone becomes unusable.”
Foong feels that Samsung Pay provides lots of value to their customers, propelling them into the arena of mobile payment that is secure and simple to use.
“Many of our customers and the public generally, are looking at mobile payment as the next step in the usage of their mobile phones. We believe that providing a payment modality that is linked to the phone apart from cash or plastic cards, provides them with something that is so natural.
“For example, when those who work here at Menara Maybank go down to buy coffee, they don’t need to bring their wallets. They can pay using Samsung Pay, and get the receipt instantly through electronic means and see the transaction happen.”
Foong also believes that Malaysia is building up towards becoming a cashless payment nation. “We still see a sizeable proportion of transactions done by cash, but the growth in the cashless type or digital type of payment modality is very fast.”
The number of Maybank active users for mobile between 20152016 grew by 36.7%. The number of transactions done on mobile for Maybank between 2015-2016 also grew by 71.7%.
“This shows that people are embracing mobile payments and transactions, even above transactions done on PCs or tablets. It also shows that there is a very significant potential for mobile payments to grow and we believe that the growth in 2016-2017 will match these numbers or maybe increase in percentage terms.”
He also adds that the number of retailers using Samsung Pay is also growing, aided by the fact that it works even with magnetic stripe terminals.
“It communicates the card’s details from the phone to the Point of Sales (POS) terminal using the magnetic stripe technology. You can use Samsung Pay at any place that accepts credit or debit cards. I believe that the acceptance rate (among merchants) for the Samsung Pay service in Malaysia is north of 90%. It is also usable internationally. Any POS terminal that has a magstripe reader or NFC reader will be able support Samsung Pay,” he says.
Foong cites that it is technology like Samsung Pay that helps position the bank closely to their strategic objective of becoming the digital bank of choice.
“We like to focus on our customer’s experience and we believe that by providing them with such a mobile service, it will allow them to experience the benefits.”
Foong says many users are looking at mobile payment as the next step in the usage of smartphones. — S.S.KANESAN/The Star