Security

2030: The year mobile payments kill cash, according to security report

A new report from IEEE states that 2030 is the year mobile payments overtake traditional payment methods. It also found low concern over email security and a slowing popularity of cloud storage.

Image: iStockphoto/TPopova

By the year 2030, cash will be dead. And mobile payments are what will kill it.

That's one of the key findings of the latest cybersecurity report by IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The report, simply titled The Future of Cybersecurity, was released on Wednesday and speaks to security issues with mobile payments, as well as the cloud, email, and personal security.

SEE: Internet and Email usage policy template (Tech Pro Research)

To form the basis of this report, IEEE surveyed nearly 2000 technology enthusiasts to get their thoughts on the state of cybersecurity and where it is headed. For starters, they took a look at the security of mobile payments.

According to the report, 70% of the people who responded believed that, by the year 2030, "mobile payments will be secure enough to overtake the use of cash and credit cards."

Mobile payments have definitely caught their fair share of headlines, with updates to Android Pay and Apple Pay leading the pack. There have also been some recent announcements of other financial institutions getting involved, such as American Express and Chase Bank.

Toward the end of 2015, while more than half of Americans knew that mobile payments systems existed, very few actually used them. However, it was also predicted that the use of the technology would triple in the year 2016.

However, right now there are still a plethora of concerns being voiced by potential users of the technology. The IEEE report found that the following concerns were the strongest among survey respondents:

  • Payment information hacks - 46%
  • Unauthorized payment processed by a mobile payment provider - 33%
  • Accidental payments made by the NFC tag and/or QR code - 13%
  • Viral infection through the QR code - 8%

If these concerns can be addressed, though, it could lead to an explosion of mobile payment system engagement.

The Future of Cybersecurity report went beyond mobile payments. It also took a look at personal data. In an age where it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the places your personal data is online, it is easy to be concerned.

To determine which platforms and tools that respondents were most concerned there personal data could hacked, IEEE asked respondents to rank the platform from least to most risky. Here is how the survey takers ranked them, starting with the least risky.

  • Web browsing - 34%
  • Email - 47%
  • Social networking - 48%
  • Syncing to cloud - 53%
  • Banking/mortgage information - 60%
  • Online banking - 72%

The report especially noted the low concern for email security, especially when it came to personal email (ranked at 49% vs the 50% of work email.)

SEE: 10 ways to get the most out of mobile payment systems (TechRepublic)

Cloud storage also took a hit in the report, with 26% saying it was their "least preferred way to save their information." Additionally, 49% of those surveyed said that they'd rather store data in their phone, not their computer.

Finally, taking a look at the average user among the group, the report found that 42% worry about identity theft, 27% were afraid of losing anonymity online, and 18% were fearful of piracy.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. By 2030, an IEEE report predicts that mobile payments will be secure enough to take over traditional payments like cash and credit cards. Fears of information hacks or unauthorized payments are currently holding the technology back.
  2. Low concern for email security should be considered by IT admins, as it could lead to undesirable email practices in the office.
  3. Trust in cloud storage is also dropping, with more than one quarter of respondents saying it was their least preferred way to store data. IT must address these concerns and continue to teach proper storage habits.

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About

Conner Forrest is News Editor for TechRepublic. He covers startups and enterprise technology and is passionate about the convergence of tech and culture.

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