7 Things You Should Know About Secure Payment Technology

Despite the existence of EMV and Apple Pay, we're a long way from true payment security, especially in the US.

Sara Peters, Senior Editor

February 24, 2015

8 Slides

"Monopoly," by Mike Mozart

Apple Pay isn't the only new payment technology out there. There are rumors that Google is testing something called Google Plaso -- a point-of-sale system which presumably reduces friction by allowing users to complete purchases simply by telling the cashier their initials.

There's the "Hidden Mastercard" revealed at CES, which aims to make the transition from magstripe to Chip-and-PIN a bit smoother and more secure. It looks like a card, but it's really a little computer. The user must authenticate to the card itself, and then is given a one-time card number -- which appears on the front of the card and is fed into the magnetic stripe and the EMV chip. Once the purchase is made, the one-time card data is erased.

There's also Natural Security, a payment technology that uses biometric authentication, which has been around for years, but still hasn't caught on.

There will, no doubt, be others -- but how different will they be, really? Pascual says there's "so much money tied up in cards," and it would be at least 10 years before we move away from cards and onto some other form factor.

Further, explains Litan, all of these technologies are still linked to bank accounts. The only payment tech that is truly different are alternative currencies, like Bitcoin, which comes with its own set of problems.

Do any of the new payment technologies pique your fancy? Do you think Apple Pay is all it's cracked up to be? Do you think EMV adoption will really accelerate when the liability shift happens in October? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author(s)

Sara Peters

Senior Editor

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad of other topics. She authored the 2009 CSI Computer Crime and Security Survey and founded the CSI Working Group on Web Security Research Law -- a collaborative project that investigated the dichotomy between laws regulating software vulnerability disclosure and those regulating Web vulnerability disclosure.

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