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Mobile banking is an online service offered by a bank or financial institution that allows the customer to perform monetary transactions from a mobile phone or tablet. This platform, through the direct access of technological devices, offers users the opportunity to perform transactions, have accounts available or access their personal information.

Nowadays, the established mobile banking model still faces a number of challenges in the development of mobile applications, which will be key in the future to offer a viable solution that guarantees users a fully cyber-secure IT system, proper personalization and adequate mobile operability.

What Are Mobile Banking Services?

In general, mobile banking applications offer a number of common services that revolve around account information, financial transaction history and support services:

  • Account information: These may include account history, monitoring term deposits, access to loan statements and card statements, and insurance policy administration.
  • Transactions: Such as fund transfers between linked customer accounts, bill payments, funds transactions to third parties and remote deposit checks.
  • Investments: Such as portfolio management services, real-time stock quotes, and customized notifications and alerts on security prices.
  • Support: Such as credit application status, checkbook register, exchange of data messages and submission, follow-up or complaint emails, and ATM locations.
  • Content service: This can be general information and current news or a service based on the location of the device.

What Are The Advantages of Mobile Banking?

Mobile banking is currently one of the main ways for customers to access their respective banks. According to the 2018 Mobile in Spain and the World Report by Ditrendia, Spain is in fifth position in the ranking of mobile banking users.

The advantages of using mobile banking are many and, among them, the convenience in dealing with the bank and the availability 24 hours a day to access the service. Mobile banking also reduces the cost of handling transactions, eliminating the need for time-consuming visits to a bank branch for monetary transactions that do not require a cash withdrawal.

According to the 2018 Mobile in Spain and the World Report by Ditrendia, Spain ranks fifth in the ranking of mobile banking users.

A survey conducted by Forrester indicates that mobile banking is especially attractive to the younger segment of the population as they are “deeply tech-savvy.” And, more broadly, a third of mobile users agree that they would consider the option of doing some kind of financial transaction via their mobile phone.

What Are The Future Challenges for Mobile Banking?

Regarding the future functionalities of mobile banking, and taking into consideration the significant increase in the use of smartphones and tablets, the mobile banking service will have to address certain innovations aimed at personalization of services, application and service security, and usability on different mobile devices. The three challenges to be taken into account by banks are explained below:

Cyber security

As mobile banking is a service running on a device connected to the Internet, security is a challenge for businesses in general and for mobile application developers and wireless network service providers in particular. In this context, the following aspects will need to be addressed to achieve real and comprehensive security to curb potential cybercrime:

Application Security

If the bank offers smart card-based security, it is essential to obtain security from the mobile device itself to ensure trust and confidence during the entire transaction process.

Device Authentication

It will be essential to have an authentication record before making a transaction, so that devices not pre-authorized by the bank will not be able to make money transfers.

Data Encryption

The information transmitted during the transaction process will have to be encrypted so that the data transmitted over the wireless network is captured and stored on the customer’s device.

Customization

The bank’s mobile application should also be personalized to suit the specific needs of each customer. In this sense, the app will have to offer the possibility to choose the language, the date and time, the amount format, the alerts and notifications and the common transactions.

Portable Operability

Currently, adaptability to different mobile devices and operability on any type of device is a major challenge for mobile banking. Some of these devices support Java ME, SIM Application Toolkit, WAP Browser or SMS only.

In this sense, progress towards interoperability is contingent on the format chosen by the banks themselves, as Java-based installed applications offer greater security, allow more comprehensive capabilities to be developed and are easier to use; whereas the SMS service can provide certain fundamentals, but are difficult to adapt to complex monetary transactions.

What Is An Example Of Good Practice In Mobile Banking?

According to the report The Forrester Banking Wave: European Mobile Apps, Q2 2019, published by Forrester Research, BBVA achieved the distinction of best mobile banking in Europe for the third consecutive year with a score of 87 out of 100 points. According to this study, BBVA’s app maintains the top position for “combining exceptional functionality and the best user experience”, after the firm analyzed the mobile apps of 10 banks in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Turkey.