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Mobile payments at the point of sale: at what price?
November 29th, 2016 – Today, Option consommateurs is releasing a study on mobile payment at the point of sale (mPOS) applications. In order to understand how businesses offering mPOS inform consumers about privacy issues, Option consommateurs studied their privacy policy, used mPOS applications and interviewed consumers that use them. The privacy policies were analyzed in order to discover how consumers are informed of the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information. This study reveals that several privacy policies have shortcomings. They are sometimes difficult to access or are unclear or are poorly adapted to disclosing information on a smart phone.

MPOS applications are attractive to consumers. MPOS applications allow consumers to pay for their purchases without opening their wallet or to add all their cards into an electronic wallet. However, mPOS applications collect a lot of personal information, which raises significant privacy issues. Given that the payment methods are becoming increasingly popular, identifying and correcting privacy deficiencies is of paramount importance.

Businesses must adapt their communication methods to smart phones, which have specific challenges. The mobile device itself is a goldmine of personal information and these applications can collect a wealth of personal information, many of which is sensitive information.

Option consommateurs wants companies to improve their practices such as including privacy concerns when designing an appliance (Privacy by design) in order to better protect consumers.

The research entitled "Impact of mobile point-of-sale payments apps on consumer privacy" was conducted by Option consommateurs and received funding from the Office of Consumer Affairs of Innovations, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Elise Thériault
Mobile: 514-733-6133

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