Prepaid Card Function Flaw Is Getting Fixed – Google Halts Prepaid Card Function

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

The prepaid card function has been halted temporarily as Google is trying to fix the flaw in its Google Wallet. There seems to be a security flaw in the mobile app and that has to be fixed permanently.

The credit cards and the offers can be stored on your phone with the help of ‘Google Wallet’ mobile app. So, when you visit any of the brick-and-mortar stores, which accept the Google Wallet, you can simply tap the phone at the point of sale to pay & redeem the offers. Setting up the ‘Google Wallet Prepaid Card’ account (using the app) is also easy. However, in case your phone is lost with all your prepaid card data, and if you haven’t locked your screen, then the hacker can easily hack you’re your prepaid card account, by just reestablishing the PIN for that app.

Osama Bedier, VP, Google Wallet & Payments, stated in a blog post that Google believes in taking concrete steps in order to offer protection to their users. He also added that they had to temporarily disable the prepaid card function in order to address this issue where there may be unauthorized usage of the prepaid card balance, in case the phone was lost without the screen being locked. This has been done as a precautionary measure, but the issue would be resolved shortly after fixing the problem permanently.

The security flaw that existed in Google Wallet was revealed by ‘The Smartphone Champ.’ The Google Wallet is easy to use and also does not require any additional software or any other rooted device. So, if the smart phone is lost and if the ‘lock screen’ option has not been set, then the flaw in the security system would lie exposed.

Since the credit card data is not tied to the smart phone user’s Google account, but to the smart phone itself, anyone with a ‘Google-Wallet enabled phone’ can easily change the PIN by going to the ‘application settings’ menu. Once the data is cleared for the ‘Google Wallet’ app, the app will then prompt the Smartphone users for a new PIN. After the prepaid card has been added to the ‘Google Wallet app’ and after the data has been reset by the hacker, the previous card data will then pop up and will thereby enable access to the funds in the card. Since more and more people are using their mobile devices to make payments, the problem needs to be fixed.

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