"Can Apple be trusted with customer data?" asks DataCash

By Peter Gothard
05 Jul 2012 View Comments

The head of innovation at MasterCard-owned secure payments company DataCash, Wendy Dobson (pictured), has questioned whether companies like Apple can be trusted with customer data.

Dobson was talking to Computing about contactless payment solutions in the run-up to the release of Apple's iOS 6, and its Passbook mobile payments software.

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"Would you really want aggregation for your data being held by somebody like Apple? Would you trust them to do that?" she asked.

"You're taking your physical wallet and putting it on a device," Dobson continued. "So who would you trust to hold all those details? Would you trust Google or eBay? From my point of view, the only person I'd trust is someone who has the governance over those payments and cards."

MasterCard acquired DataCash in 2010, and has given the online payment company a lead role in the rollout of its PayPass wallet later this year. DataCash is also central to MasterCard's recently announced deal with Deutsche Telekom to run an NFC-bases contactless payment scheme for mobile handsets in Germany and Poland.

"It's ultimately down to working with organisations whose business it is to handle and manage secure data, and manage the implications of fraud in the supply chain," Dobson told Computing.

Dobson said she does not believe that iOS 6 will provide a sufficient boost to make contactless payment ubiquitous in 2012.

"I don't think this year's the year, and I don't think next year's the year," said Dobson.

"I think I could live to regret this, but I don't think Apple bringing out their solution will bring a big bang [to contactless payment]. It may give a level of uplift, but it's something that will build over the next two to three years, when it becomes more accepted and business as usual.

"Perhaps it will be different for someone who is 15 or 16 years old, or who is 70, but at the end of the day, we all always go back to asking ‘Who do we trust?', and that will be the cornerstone of who succeeds," concluded Dobson.

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