Mobile technology is transforming the global payment and banking industry, according to ABI Research ( While recent advances in smartphone technology have accelerated the trend, mobile payments have been around for quite some time. Mobile payment applications such as mobile wallets are growing in popularity as they address changing needs of merchants and consumers.

Despite the widespread availability, current mobile payment adoption has failed to take off, says ABI Research. Security represents one of the primary points of concern with mobile payments, be it via processing services or NFC. As more consumers carry out financial activities on their smartphones and tablets, it is critical that these activities are processed in a secure environment.

ABI Research calculates the total value of transactions conducted via mobile handsets and tablets will reach US$1.8 trillion by the end of 2014. These trends have led to the development of numerous solutions and technologies that address the security challenges of mobile banking and payments.

Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) are increasingly recognized in the mobile ecosystem as a key component for the deployment of financial services on mobile devices. Host Card Emulation (HCE) is another enabling technology which could remove some of the barriers for NFC adoption. Tokenization offers next generation security for mobile payments by converting the traditional card data, including the Primary Account Number (PAN), into a token.

“For comprehensive end-to-end protection, mobile payment solution providers need to deploy several layers of security to protect payment in the cloud, application, and hardware levels,” says Monolina Sen, ABI Research’s Senior analyst in Cybersecurity.