Cyber Security, General

Simple Steps To Secure Mobile Banking Transactions

As regular user of mobile banking and e-wallet applications, taking some simple steps to secure mobile banking transaction platforms is inevitable. Mobile money processes are simple procedures, making the platforms easily vulnerable if unprotected. Thus, the need for careful handling of customized mobile banking apps and sensitive data, including protection of the devices use in accessing the platform from unauthorized persons.

Following the simple steps to secure mobile banking transactions  highlighted in this blog, is critical. It is a duty on the path of the end users of the platform, to heed calls for support of the service providers efforts for safe transactions across the mobile money channel.

Financial institutions, in line with their statutory obligation for guaranteed secure online payment transactions, dedicates customer alert pages on their internet banking websites for customers enlightenment. Customers e-mail address is another channels used to reach bank clients to keep them abreast of developments concerning online fraudulent antiques. Warning correspondence from my bankers about suspicious e-mails from phishing sites embedded with links, purportedly from them, are regular feature in my mail inbox. The message forewarned customers, dissuading them from  responding to e-mails, SMS or telephone call asking to:

  • Provide all the digits of your debit/credit card number
  • Provide the three digits behind your debit/credit card
  • ­Provide any code sent to your mobile telephone
  • Click on a link to verify the security o­f your account
  • Click on a link to cancel an internet banking beneficiary
  • Reply an SMS to confirm a credit or debit in your account
  • Provide your debit/credit card secret PIN code
  • Provide your internet banking password.

The correspondence is routine in all the banking community to their customers, for proactive measures at the user end, aim at checkmating rampant cases of cyber attacks on e-payment channels. The banks on their path, are committed to compliant with the PCI DSS guidelines, with mandate to ensuring the encryption of their payment gateways, for secure online banking transactions.

This wake-up call, even more, concern bank customers using the mobile payment platforms for e-banking transactions, because of the applications simplicity. Transactions on mobile banking platform takes less than two minutes to conclude with good network availability. The simple steps to secure mobile transactions cost next to nothing, compared to risk of losing ones life saving.

No bank will be held liable for transaction breaches, on account of customers careless usage of the mobile banking platform. Customer is only entitle to chargeback claim in an inconclusive transaction, after verification confirms the inconclusiveness of transaction.

The required tools for securing the m-banking applications and the mobile device includes: Antivirus, App Locker and the OTP .

Antivirus

Smart devices now comes with pre-installed antivirus softwares, for protection of the phone or tablet against viruses that can destroy valuable components of the device. But for the purpose of mobile banking, the banking apps needs antivirus protection of it’s own that will provide encryption for every financial transactions in the system. Almost all free antivirus softwares comes with premium services, that offer all round protective services, including protection of online financial transactions on mobile devices. Subscribe for the premium service for a fee to have unfettered mobile banking transactions with peace of mind.

App Locker

It is important you restrict people access to your mobile banking apps.  Application locker is the right tool to have on smart devices to lock out important apps like mobile banking and e-wallet apps. It can also be hided from people view in some window launchers. Search for application locker of your choice for free to download at the mobile apps market store that comes with the device. Follow the applock directive to lockout unauthorized persons from accessing your m-banking apps. Use complicated pattern or uniquely selected PIN for the locker.

OTP

One Time Password (OTP) is a secondary security layer in online and mobile banking transaction process. It is randomly generated numeric code send to customer’s unique mobile line on each transaction to further enhance security of transactions in the system. Only when customer confirm  the code from his end that the transacting bank approve the transaction as genuine.

Purpose of integrating the OTP technology will however be defeated if not applied wisely by the customers. The technology alone is capable of securing customers monies in their accounts, even when other data like PIN is compromised, provided the OTP code does not get to the intruder of mobile banking system.

How Best To Receive OTP Code

Receive your OTP messages on phone different from the one carrying your mobile banking and e-wallet apps. This measure goes a long way to stall attempts to defraud your bank account, if you loss the device carrying the banking apps to someone familiar with your mobile banking details. The fraudster will be frustrated for any transaction attempt on the mobile banking platform, because he will  not be able to access the OTP message for transaction confirmation. This gives ample opportunity time for deactivation of the platform temporarily.

General

About PayCashless

Welcome to PayCashless blog site. I’m Shakiru Owolabi, author of the site. I’ve flair for expressing my thought and opinion on topical issues that comes my way. The idea just struck me, to take advantage of this global information sharing medium, and use it to express my little experience about e-commerce payments system to the world.

PayCashless weblog is therefore, about e-commerce solutions, of which, e-commerce payment is an integral part.

Two reasons prompted me to put up this site:
First, my home country’s Central Bank policy, to move Nigeria economy away from the cash-base, to cashless-base economy, in theme with present reality as obtained in other part of the world.
Secondly, my experience as newbie in online payment system, some years back.

Looking way back to around 1992 downward, prior to the deployment of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and the electronic card, as alternative cash withdrawal instrument in Nigeria, we’re use to queuing up in banks to cash cheques or deposit money into our accounts. The experience is better imagined, particularly during workers pay this period. One could imagine the rowdy crowd of customers that come to cash cheques in banks.

January 2012, mark the beginning of a new economy policy, as the Central Bank kick-start the Cashless payment campaign in Lagos state.

Prior to this time, Nigeria economy is virtually cash-based. Perhaps, the only exception is, the use of bank cheque in business-to-business (B2B) transactions settlement. Also I must mention the ingenuity of Lagos state government in transforming its revenue generation drive since the current political dispensation. Lagos state is in fact, the pioneer of e-payment in governance being the first to introduce it in 1999, to shore-up it’s internally generated revenue.

In fairness, introduction of ATM truly reduce congestion in our banks to some extent. But more needs to be done because the machines are inadequate. In pursuance of this, the government came up with the cashless base economy policy, to minimize currency circulation in business environment.

I was impressed by this innovation and feel motivated to make an in-put towards archiving that aim.

My second reason, was the lesson learnt with my little exposure to online payment activities in the past years.
I was amazed by the stack reality of the world business community attitude towards Nigerian citizens, in matters relating to online buying and selling.
Do I hear you say why? Right!
Sometimes in 2008, I bought a brand new Acer laptop locally. It came with installed McAfee internet security protection software and, programmed to last three-month trial period after which, I must pay for its continue usage.

After the expiration, I purchased a virtual debit card to enable me pay for the update but the transactions were declined at every attempts. Even the issuer couldn’t help in the matter. I was only lucky once, to successfully purchase a downloadable software, which I really don’t need after several attempts with some software merchants. In the end, I lost my balance to the bargain after the card’s expiration date.

This was how I started learning that Nigeria ranked high among countries black-listed for cyber crime related offences round the world.Today, I know that internet fraud is a global phenomenon and that, even government and big establishments are not immune from hackers attack.This challenge is not beyond redemption.

PayCashless in this blog-site, intend to explore the e-commerce solutions, for the benefit of people and better appreciation of e-commerce payment system.

The passive attitude is understandably due to people’s ignorance of e-commerce payment. This I wish to address extensively.