Biggest mobile banking hurdle continues to be security

While increasing numbers of consumers seem eager to adopt mobile banking as a way to make their everyday financial management experiences more convenient, many still express worries regarding the new technology’s security.

Mobile banking is quickly becoming more popular, but many experts have noted in the past that when a financial institution rolls out a new mobile account management system, there is at some point a plateau in adoption, according to a report from Laptop Magazine. Much of this concern may be the result of consumers who remain unconvinced that mobile banking solutions are as safe as the online or traditional options that may be available to them. Nonetheless, experts see it as the next big thing in banking, especially as ubiquity of capable devices expands rapidly.

“The scope of mobile banking has clearly expanded over the last 18 months, particularly because of the expanded and more intelligent capabilities offered by the smartphone, as well as a greater range of affordable non-iPhone devices,” said Sonia Lalli, a mobile banking analyst at Juniper Research.

What security concerns exist?

Unfortunately for the companies developing mobile banking programs, there is no one overarching security concern that consumers have expressed, but rather several that will need addressing to further spur more widespread adoption, the report said. Perhaps the largest such concern, though, is what happens when a consumer loses their mobile device. There’s likely little a financial institution can do to protect consumers in these instances apart from having stringent login standards, and encouraging users to password protect their devices.

However, consumers also worry about the effects they might suffer in the event of a phishing attack in which a scammer acquires their login data, the report said. Similar concerns include malware and fraud, all of which are harder to protect against for numerous reasons.

Fortunately, many smartphones now allow apps that serve as a sort of virus and malware protection, much like the kind that exist for regular computers, the report said. These can detect any potential issues related to problematic apps users might come across.

As for fraud and phishing attacks, perhaps the best way that consumers can guard themselves is to be careful with their login data, the report said. Mobile banking customers need to be aware that no legitimate organization would ever contact them asking them to confirm any information about themselves via email, phone or text message.

In all, it will likely take a greater effort on the part of both users and developers to make mobile banking truly safe. Companies can increase security significantly, but that will still require that users be more cautious with the information associated with those accounts. Much like online banking, which had similar skeptics at first, experts predict that mobile account management should take off in the next few years as consumers become more accustomed to using it.

Posted in Finance
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