In Growing Mobile Payment Sector, Law Enforcement Officials See Potential for Fraud

By Brian Monroe

New York City investigators are concerned that several start-up companies selling mobile payment products may be giving criminals an easy means to defraud banks and individuals. The businesses-including San Francisco-based Square, Inc., Cambridge, MA-based LevelUp, Google and Microsoft-allow consumers to send or receive money through smartphone applications and hardware much as they do with credit and debit cards. The payments, which can be made after a short registration process, are linked to bank accounts at institutions already charged with monitoring for suspicious transactions. But the ease with which the products allow individuals and businesses to transact with one another has...