Types Of Mobile Banking Applications Security Issues Computer Science Essay

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In recent years internet banking which provides money related services transformed the banks business trade significantly and also at the same time it condenses price and improving the customer convenience. Though internet / electronic banking is providing much functionalities for the customers, the highly usage of mobile in which internet is facilitated turns the banking operations from electronic banking to mobile banking. This is a sensible development in internet banking. This newly formed banking which is a division of electronic banking is called mobile banking.

The mobile banking can be defined as: "the execution of financial services within an electronic procedure- where the customer uses the mobile communication techniques in conjunction with mobile devices" (Key & Martin 2004). Mobile banking allows the user to access services provided by banks without any restriction on location and time- access the services at anytime and anywhere. Security is the main problem in mobile banking, because it uses simple authentication mechanisms which are easily accessed by hackers. Another problem is when customer enters into new location it is difficult for the user to find location of nearest banks or cash machines.

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Since the last decade the number of users using the internet banking increased rapidly, so this makes the developers to create to develop more suitable methods to perform baking transactions remotely. Mobile banking is the new convenient scheme for the customers to access all the services offered by banks .The foundation for mobile computing is the security. As mobile banking services grow, the defenceless handsets and associated platforms will become the targets for the hackers or criminals who were try to attack. Mobile devices present many of the same risks as Internet banking (Jin and Xianling 2008).

1.2 Types of mobile banking applications and security issues

1.2.1 SMS banking

SMS banking is one of the mobile technologies which offer mobile banking services using short messaging service (SMS). Using this type of banking customers can transfer funds, request checks, manage their accounts, check their accounts and so forth. Most of the SMS applications use two methods; they are PUSH and PULL.

In PUSH method a message is transmitted from an application to the mobile phone. This message is transmitted in one way. In other words the message is initiated by mobile banking application. In PULL SMS method a message is transmitted and reply is obtained. This is a two way message transmission. In this case customer will transmit a message to SMS banking application and reply containing requested information will transmitted to the customer. For example, requesting the account balance.

The major difficulty with this type of banking is, while encryption it is not possible to encrypt the entire text. So, the information is easily accessed by the hackers. In order to prevent banks stop performing transactions with SMS banking and just allow to access account information and past history of transactions. (Key & Martin 2004).

1.2.2 WAP banking

WAP banking is the one of the forms of mobile banking which uses micro websites on GSM enabled mobile devices which support WAP technology. The functioning of WAP banking is similar to electronic banking. When a client sends the request and gets the response in page containing the required information from the web server. The main difference between E- banking and WAP banking is that in WAP banking gateways are used for the conversion of protocols. While each time user sends the request banks has to consider that very sensitive data is processed. Against unauthorized access precautions must be taken to protect the web server and especially WAP gateway because inside the gateway the protocol used for the encryption is transformed from SSL/TLS to WTLS with the result that the data is not encrypted whilst it is developed. In WAP banking the verification is guaranteed using a PIN (Personal Identification Number) and permission for transactions performed using TAN (Transaction Number). It is the same concept used in electronic banking in which user always need to carry a list of transaction numbers. (Key & Martin 2004). The main problem in this form of banking is encryption of data is done while processing which is easily accessed.

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WAP Banking (Key & Martin 2004).

1.2.3 Mobile banking with PDA's

Mobile banking with PDA is the most important and successful form of mobile banking. This eliminated most of the problems caused by mobile phones in mobile banking. The main advantage with PDA's is they provide possibility to save and run software's on it. Comparing to mobile phones PDA's have high processing power, which enables PDA's to perform complex calculations and they provide colour display. For communication purpose PDA uses Bluetooth, transmission media like GSM or infrared. Te communication between bank and device carried through binary SMS. Binary SMS offers SMS with 8-bit data format which is equals to 1120 bits (6 in 2). In contrast to actual text SMS used in SMS banking binary SMS provides more security to information from unauthorized access. The performing access to the data is similar to SMS banking. SMS- gateways are used to transfer the messages. The SMS gateway provided by the bank should able to provide binary SMS to encrypt the data for the transformation. While sending the data from the bank to customer, the information is split into different packets to provide more security and when it reaches the customer it is packed into a single message. PDA's uses symmetric encryption algorithms to perform encryption of the data. Though the encryption algorithms used in this banking providing more security the simple login mechanisms allows the hackers to gain the information. (Key & Martin 2004).

1.3 Location Based Services

"Faced with an increasingly difficult challenge in growing both average revenue per user (ARPU) and numbers of subscribers, wireless carriers and their partners are developing a host of new products, services, and business models based on data services." (Valerie & Andrew, 2002). Location Based Services are most important services among all others. These types of services are used to provide information about particular location. It is good idea to provide location tracking system along with mobile banking application to track the location of the nearest ATM or bank.

Location based services (LBS) are mostly used in wireless technology to track information about particular location or object. In mobile banking, these location based services offered using SMS services. In this type of technology the user need to type area post code or some reference about the location where customer wants locate cash machine. The server side service will track list of location and send this list to the mobile customer. But this type of tracking is not much efficient, time consuming and costly. Because user has to wait for lot of time to get reply message and for each message the user will charger some particular amount.

1.4 Research questions

How to develop mobile banking application to provide much security using cryptography and how to provide location based service?

Why the security is more important in mobile banking?

In order to answer this question it is compulsory to investigate the following sub questions:

What are the different types of security issues in mobile banking?

What are problem caused by these security issues for the customers?

2. How we can achieve more security using cryptography and memorable word?

3. How geo coding is used to track nearest locations?

From the above questions:

By investigating first two questions it is possible to develop a mobile banking application which provides much security for the customers of the bank. From the last question it is possible to provide location based tracking feature for the customers to track the nearest bank and cash machines.

1.5 Purpose and expected result

As usage of mobile increased in day to day life the concept of internet banking was shifted from desktop to mobile which in terms called as mobile banking. Though it provides as much as facilities compared to electronic banking, security is the main problem in this kind of banking. So the purpose of this survey is to study and understand the different security issues in mobile banking and different techniques to improve the security as well as usage of geo - coding to track the nearest locations. I anticipate my study will result to produce understanding of security issues and techniques to overcome these issues in mobile banking. And usage of geo - coding to track the nearest locations of cash machines and banks.

1.6 Target Groups

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As this research is mainly focused to study security issues related to mobile banking obviously the target group is the customers of the bank, who uses mobile banking feature. And also the people who are interested to know nearest locations of cash machines and bank- these are people who are new to the particular location.