Mobile banking has changed the way we bank. Managing your money has never been easier as now you can do banking transactions anywhere, anytime, thanks to alternative channels like mobile banking. The rapid adoption of digital banking channels, especially mobile, is forcing banks to rethink customer experience and processes. Because of the lower cost of banking, most customers are choosing mobile banking over traditional banking channels. While mobile banking seems like the obvious future of banking because of lower costs, and increased convenience, this convenience and accessibility are opening new doors to people who are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit the customer’s financial data for their own gains.
So, the big question today is this: is mobile banking safe for baking transactions? Mobile banking is generally secure but the main challenge is from the customer side as most consumers do not understand the technology their bank is using but need to feel confident that their financial data is protected. I have not seen any research data in Tanzania regarding mobile banking security concerns but, 73% of non-users of mobile banking in the US Federal Reserve Board Survey cited security concerns as a common reason for not using mobile banking. The primary responsibility of the safety of mobile banking is with a bank: the bank must ensure that its mobile banking app has adequate fraud prevention built-in to maintain the trust and safety of its customer’s data. The secondary responsibility of ensuring mobile banking frauds are limited is with the customer: customers must play their part to mitigate the risks of someone breaching their data. In this article, I will share a few things that customers and banks can do to mitigate the chance of falling victim to mobile banking fraud;
- Multi-Factor Authentication — Having a single password methodology to access a customer’s account is not recommended because passwords can be easily broken by fraudsters. Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of defence by requiring the user to submit something else other than the login password. For example, a bank can require additional login information such as facial recognition scanning option, biometric ID such as fingerprint, and special generated one-time passwords to ensure that only authenticated person can access your data. In addition, make sure your phone is always locked when not in use and makes sure your phone’s browser does not automatically input your passwords or usernames for you. Also, it is recommended to change your Online or Mobile Banking password at least every 90 days. I would suggest changing your password frequently to help you maintain confidentiality.
- Choose and Act Wisely — One of the basic routes for fraudsters to access your information is through phish links, unofficial apps, and unsecured networks. Therefore, don’t follow links in any emails that claim to be from your bank. If you want to do your banking, it is widely advised to go to your bank’s website directly and not otherwise. In addition, download your bank’s app only from the direct official app store or your bank’s website as fraudsters are capable of developing similar apps that contain malware and invite you to download them through emails or text messages. Furthermore, makes sure that you are connected to a secured network when you are conducting transactions through mobile banking, hence preventing unauthorized user(s) from accessing your data. So, the usage of public Wi-Fi hotspots for mobile banking should be avoided.
- Subscribe for Mobile Notification — It is very important to subscribe to mobile notifications because they will alert you quickly of any suspicious transaction. For any transactions that are done through mobile banking, you will get a notification that helps you monitor your transactions closely. Also, through mobile notification, the bank will alert you of the unsuccessful login attempts to your mobile banking account which helps you to stay vigilant. So if you haven’t subscribed to mobile banking notification already, do it now.
Criminals are increasingly turning into mobile fraud as traditional channels have become more protected. In the world of mobile transactions, criminals are constantly preying on customers and banks to exploit vulnerabilities, hence fighting mobile fraud requires speed and flexibility from both banks and customers.
Written by Kelvin Mkwawa, MBA
Email address: Kelvin.firstname.lastname@example.org
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