The allure of both smartphones and tablets stems from convenience, pure and simple.  For SMBs, that convenience translates into greater productivity when using mobile devices to manage their business and their finances.  The situation is complicated by the effect that convenience has on the security posture of employees, especially those who are using their personal devices for business purposes (i.e., bring-your-own-device, or BYOD). 

When convenience outweighs security, the scales tip to the detriment of SMBs. What Javelin found in our most recent report is that when you combine mobile-accommodating businesses (who are chasing every productivity edge they can muster) with the intent of fraudsters (who take advantage of every security weakness they can find) that things become unpleasant in a hurry.  Besides having to manage the challenges of company-issued devices, there is also the evolving BYOD movement to contend with.  Without clear guidance on their roles and responsibilities around BYOD and confronted with mobile-specific threats that are overwhelming the security habits of their employees, mobile-accommodating SMBs experience significantly higher rates of payments fraud than average.  And size does not necessarily translate into mobile-security savvy, as middle-market businesses ($10M to $500M in revenue) are no better off than micro businesses ($100K to under $1M in revenue) and small businesses ($1M to under $10M in revenue).

This is where an SMB’s financial service provider comes in.  The mobile security posture of SMBs directly relates to the integrity of their accounts; educating these clients should be a priority because as the use of mobile grows, so does the risk of fraud.  In the SMB Payments Fraud Report, we discuss how to empower SMBs in the fight against fraud – providing them with an opportunity to protect their revenue, which in turn can bolster the relationship with their financial service provider.  We need to restore the balance between convenience and security, but we won’t succeed if we are blind as to how the scales are tipping and why.


About Al Pascual

An accomplished industry analyst, market researcher, and financial industry practitioner, Al Pascual is Javelin’s Senior VP of Research and Head of Fraud & Security. As SVP of Research, he oversees the firm’s operations and ensures that Javelin’s research content provides the innovative perspectives that clients expect from the firm.

As Head of Fraud & Security, Al provides clients actionable insights on a variety of fraud and security issues, acts as a partner in developing strategies for managing risk, and identifies and raises awareness of future threats and solutions. Al researches a range of topics, including the applicability of biometrics in banking and payments, the effect of data breaches on the integrity of consumer identities, the relationship between identity fraud and loyalty, and the best methods for securing data and transactions.

Al has presented findings from Javelin’s rigorous, industry-leading research at conferences around the world, including BAI, CARTES, Money20/20, NACHA, and RSA. Al has provided commentary on fraud and security issues to media outlets such as American Banker, Bloomberg, CNNMoney, Fox Business, Reuters, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Wired.

Previously Al held risk management roles at HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and FIS. He is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, and the Federal Reserve Secure Payments Task Force. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of South Florida.

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