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HP double taps into mobile payments; outlines biggest electronic payments hurdles

User authentication was found to be a more daunting hurdle than alleviating privacy woes, according to a new HP study.

Hewlett-Packard is tapping into fervor surrounding the digital payments spectrum with expanded support for more cloud-based payment platforms and chip-based payment cards.

HP's Atalla security software, designed to help merchants protect financial data through the HP Network Security Processor (NSP), has been upgraded to support Apple Pay and other new Visa cloud-based payments methods, such as Visa PayWave.

By focusing on NFC-powered transactions, the development reflects both a heightened state of awareness and security in the wake of attack after attack on major retailers worldwide as well as growing interest in mobile payments.

HP asserted on Wednesday that this strategy will provide for secure cloud-based payments across a broad range of mobile devices without a built-in secure element.

Beyond NFC, HP appears particularly keen on EMV, the global the chip-and-pin standard Europay, MasterCard and Visa integrated on most credit cards and debit cards worldwide issued outside of the United States.

In light of the massive security breach sustained by Target last winter , among others, MasterCard has already announced to bring EMV technology to all of its cards by 2015. Visa and other payment infrastructure provider s, such as Square , have concurred and outlined similar EMV plans in the United States soon.

HP is ramping up in this area through a partnership between the Atalla unit and Cryptomathic, a security solutions provider focused on government and financial industry customers. Under the agreement, Cryptomathic is now enabled to use the HP Atalla and NSP as its hardware security module for generating and protecting EMV card data.

Serving as a foundation for all of this groundwork, HP published a new report on Wednesday about the risks presented by both legacy and new electronic payments systems.

Conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by HP, The Security & Compliance Trends in Innovative Electronic Payments Reportpresented some surprising findings after surveying approximately 634 individuals in the U.S. across IT operations, security, and electronic deployment teams.

For example, despite all the chatter about privacy these days, user authentication is actually the bigger issue concerning most financial and tech industry leaders.

According to the study, 66 percent of respondents labeled user authentication as a key challenge in implementing new payment methods. But only only 38 percent of respondents speculated that consumers will be reluctant to use these payment methods because of privacy concerns.

Overall, 75 percent of respondents asserted that their organizations plan to support mobile payments (either through the use of a phone number or embedded tech such as NFC) followed by stored value cards. At the same time, 43 percent of respondents are planning on incorporating e-currencies, such as Bitcoin.

However, the wait for these systems to actually be deployed by retailers and financial partners continues. Only Only 17 percent of respondents said they have already fully deployed alternative point-of-sale and payment methods.