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.