Poor Mobile Banking
By: Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com
In reading the news this morning an interesting article from Fox Business News titled Mobile Banking to Transform Microfinance caught my eye. In short, the article discusses the capacity of mobile banking to penetrate the shortcomings of financial institutions as a vehicle of the poor. This article if nothing else makes me think that if mobile banking offers so much potential in terms of driving the flexibility of a mobile lifestyle, then why isn’t more being done to secure mobile banking?
As I’ve declared in the past, mobile banking’s greatest security vulnerability resides at the handset level. This means that the lack of security that most mobile handsets have lends them to incredible risk as a financial instrument. Lending from this article, how much more does targeting the lowest income demographics compound the security vulnerabilities that reside in mobile banking? By this statement I merely intend to suggest that this demographic is less likely to use the higher-end handset spectrum (which boasts better security) while they are also less likely to seek a third-party software to bolster the security shortcomings of their handsets.
The article suggests, “A new report from the global microfinance body CGAP predicts that, with the right market conditions, mobile banking could reach large numbers of poor people who are outside the formal financial system.” I do not actually disagree with this, but the issue becomes defining what comprise “the right market conditions” to truly penetrate mobile banking to such a traditionally technology adoption laggard demographic.
As a mobile security professional (with a business degree), I see a much greater need to focus on the handset level mobile security vulnerabilities that threaten the macroeconomics of mobile banking as a whole. If the overall environment of mobile banking is threatened by the gaping holes of handset level security coupled with the grave lack of handset interoperability across the global wireless industry, how will mobile banking ever gain the traction needed to become a standard conduit to the financial industry?
Let’s face it, mobile banking is a newer technology that has some major areas of opportunity with regards to security. As security is only as strong as the weakest link, mobile banking faces serious hurdles at the handset level.
Your mobile security guru,
Eric Everson, Founder - MyMobiSafe.com
Article in Reference: http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/mobile-banking-transform-microfinance/