FCA preliminary findings into mobile banking

Last week, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the early findings of its “thematic” review into mobile banking services, exploring potential risks to consumers and areas that industry should consider when developing their services.

Mobile devices have revolutionised the way we interact, none so more than access to banking services. While still in its infancy, mobile banking is set to see major growth in both the West and in particular, emerging economies. In the UK, one in five adults has used their phone to make a payment, with one in four using it to check their bank balance. (Source: BBC)

The review sets out a few considerations. Does the speed and convenience of mobile banking increase the risk of human error?  Are consumers at risk from fraudulent activity such as malicious software or viruses? Does the consumer even understand these new services? 

None of these problems are new. Risks of human error, fraudulent behaviour and security exist with or without the medium of mobile banking. Security is a moving target and there's no such thing as a 100% secure device or service. Today’s secure solution is tomorrow's vulnerability. That's why security needs constant vigilance, maintenance and expertise applied to the problem.

Gartner predicts mobile payment users to total 448 million by 2016. Financial service providers and payment services require payment methods that are both secure, but also easy to use, providing improved user experiences.

Solutions are now available that integrates a new level of security directly into the connected device at the lowest level (at Trustonic we call this the Trusted Execution Environment). This isolates and protects sensitive assets such passcodes, fingerprints and certificates, creating a seamless user experience.

The FCA will publish a full report into mobile banking in early 2014.