Report: Consumer protections insufficient for mobile payments

Thanks to the advancement of technology, people can pay for goods and services through mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. However, a new report indicates that financial protections afforded by these technologies are somewhat limited.

As a result of the findings, Consumers Union — the organization that performed the study — recently called upon wireless carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to strengthen their security measures so customers can avoid problems if their devices are stolen or hacked into.

"Consumers using mobile payments should get the same strong protections they currently enjoy when they make purchases with a credit card or debit card," said Michelle Jun, an attorney who represents the nonprofit advocacy firm, which is affiliated with Consumer Reports. "But we found that consumer rights can vary widely between wireless carriers and the protections carriers claim to provide are often nowhere to be found in customer contracts."

She added that as mobile payment options become available, consumers are generally better off sticking with the payment services offered by credit card companies as the protections are more robust.

Credit card companies are not without fault, however, as occasionally they may leave unfair or inaccurate marks on credit reports. Consumers should be aware of these possibilities and confront their creditors or the credit bureaus, as applicable, when they spot discrepancies.