Banks are pushing mobile devices for payments, but there may be an untapped – and more immediate – opportunity to use mobile for security improvements on mainstream payment types.

Consumers are "curious about this mobile wallet concept but unsure on how secure it is," says Todd Davis, chief executive of the identity theft protection company LifeLock Inc.

But consumers do see a clear security benefit for real-time alerts of suspicious transactions. "They don't understand why some banks stop the card transaction instead of reach out" to the consumer to authenticate or deny the purchase, he says.

Since banks already consider mobile devices ubiquitous enough to substitute for a wallet, the devices should also be ubiquitous enough for real-time communication of suspected fraud, he says.