Consumer Group Calls for M-Commerce Protections

Sept. 2, 2010

The consumer activist group Consumers Union recently called on federal regulators to ensure that consumers who use new mobile payment services are protected from fraud or errors made by merchants and processors. “As mobile payments systems come to the U.S., product providers and regulators need to make sure that they are at least as safe for consumers to use as traditional credit card and debit card payments,” said Michelle Jun, staff attorney for Consumers Union. “It is critical that mobile payment systems are covered by strong rules to protect consumers from losing money because of fraud, processor error or a dispute with a retailer.” The group said the various types of cards and payment methods attached to mobile devices make it difficult for consumers to determine what protections apply to new payment services. “Consumers should not be expected to figure out what protections apply to each competing new payments venture,” said Jun. “Regardless of the technology or business organization involved, the same high level of consumer protections should be guaranteed by law and contract for any payment service. Now that mobile payment ventures are emerging in the U.S., it’s time to harmonize and extend consumer protections for all payment services.”