Last Friday, the Federal Trade Commission released a report, Paper, Plastic…or Mobile?, on the use of mobile payments. The report follows a workshop hosted by the FTC in April 2012 that explored innovative mobile payment products and services, the potential benefits offered by mobile payments, and the concerns they raise. For purposes of the report, mobile payments generally include four types of payment processes: (1) near field communication (NFC) technologies, (2) mobile applications, (3) online checkout wallets, and (4) mobile carrier billing (charging of payments directly to a mobile phone bill).
The report focuses on the primary areas where the increasing use of mobile payments raises concerns, including dispute resolution, data security, and privacy. The report also highlights special concerns regarding mobile carrier billing and international mobile payments.