PIN on Glass: The Next Movement in Mobile Payments

    With all the advances in mobile payments and handheld technology, it’s surprising that U.S. consumers are generally unable to make purchases using their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) on a mobile touchscreen such as a tablet or smartphone. Luckily, the day isn’t far off when “PIN on Glass” transactions will become a reality.

    According to the ETA, the technology needed to facilitate PIN on Glass is already available, but, until now, there have been limitations to use due to (necessarily) strict PCI security standards. The PCI Security Standards Council held a request-for-comment period for a new standard to be established in October 2017, and the tide is turning towards acceptance of software-based PIN entry.

    The goal of PIN on glass is to add an extra level of security to mobile payment transactions. It operates by taking the PIN entries entered on commercially-available mobile devices, isolating them from common inputs, and adding another level of protection to stay in line with PCI standards. As an increasing number of merchants are using mobile platforms to accept and process payments, it has become clear that another level is needed.

    The next goal within the PIN on Mobile movement is to remove the need for separate hardware PIN pads at the point-of-sale when accepting mobile payments. By doing so, merchants can streamline payment acceptance and cut down on overhead and lower card acceptance costs associated with point-of-sale fraud. Mobile payments are a mainstay of many merchant’s business operations, and taking on payment processing through a reputable payment solution helps lower merchant’s PCI scope.

    Ensuring security, however, is a main focus for PCI when talking about software-based PIN entry.

    Security in mobile payments has been a continual concern for mobile payment users, and is a big barrier for some merchants accepting payments. And while there are obvious benefits of using commercially-available mobile platforms to accept payments, protecting users’ accounts from fraud has been a continuing area of concern. PCI’s push to advance towards PIN on Glass is a clear sign of increasing buy-in on the security and efficiency of mobile payments.

    2018 will follow the trend of increasing technological advances and increased confidence in payment security throughout the industry. This next clear step towards PIN on Mobile is just another sign of technological confidence within the payments industry.


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