Sunday, January 24, 2010

SMS banking is not as simple as it sounds

While it is quite common to talk about mobile banking, it seems that "SMS banking" i9s a term that is used by quite a number of professionals. SMS banking seems to be the categorisation of any interaction with banking services via mobile phone making use of SMS's. SMS banking does not use any menu's, downloadable applications or other types of bearer channels (like USSD).

If this is the definition of SMS banking, I would like to suggest that a number of sub-categories exist within the main category of SMS banking:
  • Mobile terminating SMS banking would be a class of services that sends SMS messages to the subscriber. Alerting services are typical examples of such services.
  • Mobile originating SMS banking would be all of the services that can be implemented by allowing a subscriber to send a SMS to a short-number. The SMS would have a special code and the banking server would respond according to the code in the message. It is possible to distinguish between different types of banking services under this heading:
1. Simple enquiry services (e.g. sending "BAL" to a number and getting the balance delivered to the phone.
2. More complex transaction services. More than one SMS and completing a more complex transaction through a number of "chained" SMS's. The system maintains a state to ensure that different SMS's can be concatenated. (e.g. to pay an account by requesting the outstanding amount and then confirming payment)
3. Combination of SMS transactions with other channels. (e.g. a SMS-based payment request, secured by means of a IVR prompt)

It is clear that SMS banking is not as simple as it sounds and would require very capable professionals to deploy properly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how can i setup sms banking solutions for trial