People are no longer going to the bank branch. Their mobile phones serve as their bank branch, e-wallet and financial organiser – all at once.

The mobile phone has become a ubiquitous part of our personalities. With an Internet-based SIM card, the mobile phone takes turns to entertain and educate us, helping the user work and play on the go. All the information one needs is literally at one’s fingertips, and so, the mobile phone is now the centre of operations for most users in the country.

Hence, we are using our phones today more than we used to a couple of years ago. A few years ago, it was inconceivable to imagine transacting sums of money over the mobile phone. But as more and more Indians seek to ‘move’ their bank onto their mobile phones, banks in India are looking to provide a safe and convenient mobile platform to do so. The high proliferation of Internet-enabled smartphones in India also makes it necessary for banking to become an inseparable part of one’s daily mobile phone-based usage.

Just as banking has taken a 360˚ turn in India, so has the usage of mobile based apps in the country. Today, tech savvy Indians demand the presence of their bank on their mobile phones, creating the need for a seamless interface that helps one reach the bank within seconds.

Banking on the go has become a reality for many people today, who use mobile banking apps for a variety of tasks: transferring money to contacts, paying utility bills, plan their monthly expenses and seeing a break-up of expenses already made, even keeping track of their investments.

Mobile banking apps have today become the newer iteration of the desktop website that all banks offer their customers. However, customers are more demanding of their mobile-based bank than they are of their bank’s desktop website: they want a clean, interactive interface that offers quick touch applications, the highest levels of security, an attractive layout and instant access to their money.

Some excellent mobile banking apps offer safety in banking transactions by bypassing the OTP (One Time Password) step altogether. While customers need to wait for the password to arrive, then patiently key it in to access the service they need, this OTP process also leaves them vulnerable. Anybody can access the mobile phone and find the OTP, thus making use of the banking app to their advantage. Instead, newer mobile banking apps now use advanced levels of customer authentication such as ‘soft token security’, without forcing the customer to go through more steps while banking. Newly launched DBS Bank’s digibank is powered by automated authentication, safer than OTPs.

More levels of security are also needed for such tasks as accessing the app without having to change passwords and remember them at all times. Customers are now demanding direct but secure access that eliminates the need for a password change unless they wish to change it.

In the coming days, it will be interesting to see how banks in India strengthen their security and offer greater ease of operations, as also add more innovation to their banking apps.

Featured Image Credits: Nicolas Nova via Flickr

Posted by The Indian Economist