As a matter of fact, delivering working, reliable mobile banking solutions is ALL about technology. People often make the mistake of equating mobile banking to a cute little program on a handset connecting to existing banking systems in the back. This may be fine for a few subscribers and limited number of transactions, but as soon as these applications are used in earnest, the bottlenecks, the conflicts and the challenges move to the back-office. Core banking systems were never designed to deal with so many transactions.
The complexity and challenges with mobile banking systems are huge. This is probably the most complex banking systems that can be found, and specifically because of the following reasons.
- Almost everything must happen in real-time with response times of less than ten seconds.
- The transaction volumes of mobile banking systems are higher (by factors) than what can be expected from existing banking systems. Well-designed mobile banking systems must scale to higher transaction volumes than what can be dealt with in the back-office. At the same time it should have intelligent throttling mechanisms when the back-office cannot respond fast enough.
- The security paradigm of mobile banking is totally different. Be careful of vendors that merely offer Internet security on the phone.
- Consumer behavior is totally different on mobile phones than on the Internet. Transactions must be much more intuitive with less guidance and error checks, yet still be reliable and functional.
- Mobile banking systems must be able to recover themselves from error conditions. I have seen situations where a component fails and in a very short span of time, the system have half a million transactions in pending state. No ways that this can be resolved by hand.
- The integration points are many more than for most systems, and the type and characteristics of integrations are very different to most banking systems
- The ability to optimise systems are different