Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Appstores and Mobile banking

The appstore is a place where applications for the iPhone can be browsed, puchased and downloaded to the iPhone. The use and feel for the appstore is making it very popular as a source for mobile applications. A number of mobile applications for banking and financial services are already available and can be downloaded from the appstore. The question now arrises if this is a way to go for mobile banking. (also read this blog).

While it is an easy way to distribute mobile banking applications, the appstore approach creates a number fundamental problems:
  • It is essential that applications and how they are distributed should cater for many different platforms and phones. While the appstore works very while for iPhones, similar mechanisms does not exist for other phones - though they may become available for other makes in future. It would be extremely difficult to keep all appstores relavant.
  • It is ideal (especially form a security perspective), to keep track of who downloaded what and to also have the ability to sign each application individually and earmark such a signed application for a specific customer. This is very difficult with an appstore.
  • Because the appstore is available to all, it is difficult to ensure confidentiality and to protect competitive advantages.
All of the above is valid, yet can be overcome. The biggest question in my mind is if banking applications should be pulled by the customer to the phone or pushed by the bank to the phone. My sense is that the latter is preferable and impossible to do with the appstore.

1 comment:

denis said...

Apple Store a good example, because Apple seems to consider that iPhone jailbreaking is illegal
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10163675-37.html