1/13/2014 11:34:07 AM
Target Credit Card Breach, What Could it Mean for App Markets
Target credit card breach, app market, app data, mobile app
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App Developer Magazine

Target Credit Card Breach, What Could it Mean for App Markets

Stuart Parkerson Stuart Parkerson in Marketing & Promotion Monday, January 13, 2014

Consumers have been stung, and stung hard by the Target credit card breach. I was at a dinner party last night and every person had either been personally affected or had a close family member or friend who was.

The Target breach has brought about an immediate, enhanced, and broad based awareness of the fragility of a consumer’s financial and personal information. Target will weather the storm, however the fallout for companies that depend on credit card payments and collecting personal information will be felt for a while.

How does it affect the app markets, especially the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store? Consider this: to access the app markets consumers not only have to provide a credit card, but detailed personal information with a company that they are familiar with, but have had limited dealings with; that this information will be used to purchase goods and services from another third party (app) that they probably have never heard of and never met; and all of this for services to be made available for a mobile device that in itself is transient in nature.

Its adds up to a potential backlash on the behalf of consumers as they consider any purchases, especially for apps. Even younger generations will think twice after their credit cards and debit cards have been zapped as a result of using them at such an innocuous company as Target.

If there is a backlash, then apps that rely on a freemium model with in-app purchases might see some type of decrease in revenue unless a new system of payment (perhaps carrier billing) is adopted across the board.

Now the reality is that most consumers will probably operate as business as usual. However the recent Snapchat breach of data has added another hi-profile data breach and tied it directly to the app markets. As people figure out the that the app markets and app providers are really separate entities, you may see more of a consumer withdrawal from making financial and personal information available. 

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