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Shaping the future of mobile banking

I took part in a panel debate on the future of mobile banking this week and it was a delight to hear the debate on what mobile banking might shape up to be.

It is obvious that mobile banking is still in its embryonic stage, and there was a lot of talk about what the winning strategies might be for cracking this market. Aman Narain, from Standard Chartered, hit the nail on the head when he stated that “security cuts across it all” – I completely agree.

The session I took part in involved asking the audience to respond to a number of questions. 87% of them thought that customers are only just beginning to engage in mobile banking. What will make this developing service a success is being able to safeguard transactions from hackers. Customers’ trust needs to be earned, and once their money has been compromised, it’s likely that they’ll revert to more traditional methods of banking.

Security procedures need to be integrated into the mobile banking architecture from the outset, which leads us to the million pound question: “Who’s responsibility is it any way?”

87% of the audience said that it was down to the bank to bear the responsibility of securing transactions. But, criminals are very sophisticated these days, and organised crime will expose the weaknesses in the chain. Every step of the chain needs to be secured, from the phone manufacturers, the mobile network operators, card issuers to the bank providers.

Ultimately I believe that telcos are at an advantage here. They can leverage their position as the mobile network operator just as groups like ISIS in the US and in the UK, Project Oscar (the NFC consortium made up of Vodafone, O2/Telefonica, Everything Everywhere) have done in the mobile payment space.

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Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 06 June, 2012, 15:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Currently, all security mechanisms cause inconvenience. Against that backdrop, I'd actually argue the opposite: Increased security raises friction and drives people to branches, checks and other traditional forms of banking. 

To paraphrase the famous quote by Samuel Johnson, "Security is the last resort of bankers who can't think of too many use cases other than account balance inquiry in their mobile banking offering". 

As Mint has proved, when you give people a great use case, they literally handover the keys to their Internet Banking accounts to rank startups. Per contra, as the Indian e-commerce experience has shown, when you make it painful for people to make ePayments thanks to 2FA and other security measures, they literally use cash even for online purchases (via 'cash on delivery' method of payment).

Pat Carroll

Pat Carroll

Founder/Executive Chairman

ValidSoft

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.


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