insight
Banking & Finance
By: Sagar Sharma

How to Enhance the Security of Mobile Banking Apps

The world has shifted from manual to mobile with the emergence of smartphones and mobile applications. The banking sector is one of the many to have drastically transformed by the rise of mobile banking. Banking customers today, no longer have to go to a bank, or even to an ATM, all thanks to the mobile banking apps.

They can carry now carry their accounts in their pocket through a smartphone. Mobile banking apps have unquestionably changed the scenario of overall banking transactions. However, there are more than 1.5 million applications available in public mobile app stores, and there are thousands of downloads of various apps every day.

With the increased use of mobile banking apps, the chances of fraud are also on the rise. Yes, hackers or fraudulent are always on their high alerts to find their way through these apps to hack an account and take advantage.

Moreover, security researchers are on the continuous hunt of discovering malware that targets mobile banking apps. For example, there is a spyware called FakeBank that monitors SMS activity for incoming verification messages from a customer’s bank. When a user of a mobile banking app gets an SMS with a verification code, the spyware copies the details and send them to fraudsters.

Today, hackers have become tech-savvy, and they are well aware of the use of different technologies. They use them to their advantage in the purpose of hacking accounts. Therefore, it is critical to be thoughtful and cautious in choosing your mobile banking app development team and also examine your existing banking apps for vulnerabilities.

There are certain security measures you can take to secure your mobile banking apps. Let us take a look at these.

10 Ways to Secure your Mobile Banking Apps

1. Build Mobile Security Standards & Apply them

While developing mobile banking apps, all banks have some standards and guidelines to follow when they develop their applications. However, they often forget to focus on the security factor while following the other details. Also, there are differences between Android and iOS when ensuring that auto-complete is turned off or the password field is appropriately protected.

It is critical to assure that you have solid security standards and guidelines for all technologies that are in use.

2. Conduct a Manual Verification

Once you have performed design or architecture reviews with threat modeling, you should conduct some level of manual verification. You can determine the scope and level of difficulty by the amount of risk posed by the application.

Moreover, the size and complexity of the app will ascertain multiple levels of verification through iterative code reviews and penetration testing. Financial service providers must employ mobile verification experts to work alongside internal teams. They

should keep an eye towards building a strong testing group within the staff.

3. Introduce Fingerprinting Device

Introducing Fingerprinting devices can add a dimension to mobile banking apps. The integration of this feature will help confirm a user identity with the use of a unique set of signals offered by the device. These signals consist of an IP address, location, screen size, browser, time of day, device type, etc. You can hire Android or iPhone app developers from a mobile app development company to build an app that will integrate fingerprinting feature or the one that is compatible with fingerprinting devices.

4. Add Multi-Factor Authentication

We mentioned earlier that frauds have increased with the use of the latest technologies. Therefore, submitting a password to access a customer’s bank account in a mobile banking app is no longer adequate to avoid fraud. Banks need to add an extra layer of defense like one-time generated passwords or biometrics to increase mobile banking security.

Biometric authentication can be based on static physical characteristics or human behavioral patterns. Besides, static biometrics examine peoples’ physiological characteristics, such as fingerprints, iris, retina, etc. While behavioral biometrics deals with a person’s voice, typing rhythm, scroll speed, swipe patterns, and other traits, revealing the unique ways people interact with their devices. It is impossible for fraudsters to mimic these factors.

5. Provide Real-Time Text & Email Alerts

You can safely assume that someone using mobile banking on their smartphone has direct access to their email or text messages. Banking service providers can prevent fraud by notifying a customer account activity through a quick, real-time email or text alert. For example, some mobile banking apps allow you to be notified if more than a customer-specified amount of money is spent.

Such a notification can easily let the concerned customer know if their information has been compromised. As a result, they would likely be aware of such a large amount of money being withdrawn from their account.

6. Behavioral Analysis

With the latest technologies hitting the market, specialized software has emerged that monitor and analyze the login location and activity, along with the online account activity of consumers. Due to this technology, your mobile banking application could signal abnormal behavior for further investigation.

As part of further investigation, it can send an email or text alert to the customer advising of suspicious activity. Also, a call from the bank further investigating the suspicious activity can occur.

7. Use Secure Access

Banking and financial service providers should always encourage their customers to use secure connections via technologies like HTTPS. These technologies can protect their accounts against data theft and fraudulent logins.

With the increasing use of the latest technologies, the risk of fraud both for the bank as well as the customer is growing. With cyber-criminals continually finding their way through apps, there is a need to constantly improve the security of mobile banking apps.

8. Implement Safe Digitalized Documentation

Banking service providers can effectively increase the security of their mobile banking apps through Safe Digitalized Documentation. It consists of setting up an electronic signature, which helps in several verticals like eCommerce, call centers, retail branches, etc.

Digitized Documentation helps in bringing a major part of the documentation on mobile, which enables financial service providers to offer various benefits to their customers, particularly, helps in preventing fraud.

9. End-to-End Encryption

In many online transactions, several entities like payment cards, merchants, card brands, and the issuing bank play a significant role. Moreover, the exchange of a lot of sensitive data worth billions of dollars takes place in a year, which has become a hotspot for hackers.

End-to-End encryption comes to the rescue in such situations. It ensures that the data is secure and sound even during online transactions. It performs security audits and penetration tests, which takes the security measures to the extra mile.

10. Encourage the Use of NFC-Embedded SIM Cards

Though you cannot force this security option to your customers, you can highly encourage them to have it on their mobile banking apps. An NFC-embedded SIM card is a SIM card that allows consumers to securely download their credit card information into the Near Field Communication (NFC) SIM card.

This security option enables consumers to protect their overall account information without carrying their actual card. It reduces the risk that their credit card information could be compromised, potentially giving access to their mobile bank application.

Summing Up

Mobile apps and online platforms have undoubtedly made banking transactions easier and more convenient for us. However, with the increasing use of the latest technologies, hackers have also become quite tech-savvy. Therefore, the key to improving the security of mobile banking apps is to deploy the security measures we discussed above.

Credencys has been providing secured mobile app development services for years. Our team consists of highly qualified and experienced Android and iPhone app developers who offer a broad array of expertise to help you build your robust mobile application.

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