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16 October 2008  |  3626 views  |  1

The use of mobile banking is expected to be very high in the US and in Europe as well. The handsets themselves became very clever. There is no ”smartphone” category anymore, beacuse even the medium-level handsets are smart enough to browse the internet, have at least 320x240 screen resolution  and they are fast! All of this resulted that a really usable software user interface can be run on the mobile phones. In our case it is banking software: accessing your account balance and making a payment on your mobile (this what you do in 90% of the cases in your mobile banking).

Before, the big question was about technologies. SIM Toolkit, Java, WAP, SMS were on the field. Today all of them are dead (except SMS alerts) and HTML is the one and only. There is no need for any downloads and installation. I just get a text from my bank to log in here: ”mobile.mybank.com”, and as I click on it, my mobile browser shows the login screen immediatelly.

Big and innovative banks has voted on HTML in mobile browsers: Bank of America, Nordea, Garanti, Deutsche Bank are all doing it.

Their approach was to create a mobile screen sized banking application which is very simple (no scrolling and diving dozen screens, otherwise the customers can be easiliy confused) and does not need much data input. I think these are the two keys of usability in mobile banking.

As a banking customer, I am happy (geek) user of such a service, so keep up the good work guys!

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Comments: (2)

Dean Procter - Transinteract - Sydney | 17 October, 2008, 01:58

I fail to see how using a dumb phone web/html based transaction could be any safer than html based tansactions using a more powerful , more well defended  PC, and we all know how well that isn't doing.

Perhaps you could enlighten me?

It's early days and I think there are a few laps to go in the mobile transaction race before anyone starts waving the chequered flag.

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A Finextra member | 17 October, 2008, 08:33

Yes, you are right, the race is on. But mobile brower based solutions are so much ahead in terms of convenience, speed and distribution, that the industry went for this technology. Morevover, if we look around: CNN, Facebook, Google developed their mobile web appearance too.

The security is a challenge, I agree. Actually it is the same challenge (and answer) as we have at online banking. HTTPS encryption is used on the PC and on the mobiles as well. More, I think mobiles are less vulnerable today, as there are less viruses, trojans, malicious code written for them.

Two factor authentication can be a question too. As the devices does not have any smartcard reader inside, no PKI can be used here. But an other commonly used method: one-time-password over SMS can solve this.

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