Friday, August 29, 2008

Core Mobile Banking Processes

I have been emphasising the importance of mobile banking processes in a previous blog-entry. Some-one recently asked me to expand a bit on this. This is one level deeper, describing in words some of the business processes that must be available at a minimum and some of the considerations when designing these processes.

So, as a minimum. you should have the following business processes defined and supported by your mobile banking system before you launch into production (These are just a sample, to serve as an illustration):
  1. Customer registration - this is usually the most complex, but also the most important process. This is the point at which the system can be designed to comply with regulatory requirements. Many different approaches can be implemented, ranging from the filling in of forms that must be captured, to online registration off the mobile phone or on an ATM network or (sometimes) all of the above.
  2. Change security information - it is common practice that a subscriber select security information at the point of registration. But what happens when this information is compromised or lost? Process must be available to (for instance) reset a PIN or password in a secure way. The system may have to cater for secondary authentication (maybe through memorable questions) to cater for this.
  3. Block/Suspend/Un-suspend a service - The system should cater for the ability to suspend a services when a subscriber feels that their access have been compromised (for instance their phone was stolen). The mechanisms to suspend or again un-suspend a service must be designed beforehand.
  4. Release pending transactions - the nature of mobile banking is such that some transactions do not complete because (for instance) of other systems not being available. The back-offices must be capable to release these transactions in a way that does not compromise integrity.
  5. Close an account - it must be possible to close an account if a subscriber wishes to do so. A number of aspects must be considered in this case. For instance, what happens to any positive balance available on the account.
  6. Perform batch services - many batch services must be performed in a properly designed mobile banking system: raise subscription fees, pay interest, apply payments from an external system etc. All of these must be available.
  7. Register a support employee - the process of registering a bank employee must also be available. This process must cater for a registration that is secure, authorise the employee to only have access to portions of the system and enable the selection of security information etc.
Hope the above goes some way towards a better understaning of the complex nature of mobile banking back office systems.

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