Investigating the Security Threats on Using M-Payment Applications in Saudi Arabia: Exploratory Study

Raed Alotaibi, Abdulrahman Alghamdi


Online banking, debit cards, credit cards and mobile payments are the most common payment types in Saudi Arabia. This study explored security threats that affect m-payment applications in Saudi Arabia by interviewing 16 IT professionals to explore their insights and opinions about those security threats. Cybersecurity threats present the biggest challenge for most mobile systems, as mobile payments can be affected by cyber-attacks and require sophisticated approaches to achieve the desired security. In our study we report on the impact of security threats on the utilization of mobile payment applications and provide evidence related to those threats and their impact on the use of mobile payment applications. Evidence was provided regarding the security threats and their impact on using mobile payment applications. Information was also provided related to security threats such as Distributed Denial-of-Service, phishing attacks and malware. Although the participants in this study demonstrated a positive attitude regarding the safety and security of mobile payments, they also highlighted the security threats that impact m-payments. The results showed that the three main threats in Saudi Arabia were Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS), phishing attacks and Malware (Malicious software). This study makes two contributions. The first is to theory, by filling the gap in the literature because it is the first study to explore the threats to using m-payment in Saudi Arabia. Secondly, this study contributes to practice by providing a clear picture for service providers and users about threats they may face when using m-payment.


Cybersecurity; cyber threats; mobile payments security; information systems; computer science.

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