Mobile banking and financial services are growing quietly behind the scenes, particularly in the developing world. Analysts predict the emerging market could be worth a whooping $5 billion by 2012.
This is testament to the fact that more people in these countries (approx. 1 billion) have access to mobile phones than, for example, fixed telephone lines or actual bank accounts. As a result, multinational corporations see this as an opportunity to invest more in the expansion of mobile financial packages to fuel access to banking services.
Although the intentions appear to be good natured, one cannot help but wonder if it will become another form of experiment by these organisations. While the expansion of mobile banking in these regions is set to escalate, security experts are warning that mobile phones are facing the greatest hacking threats yet. For example, Yahoo reports that “would-be hackers can access confidential information via a simple text message from your provider”.
Until now, mobile security threats have been mostly few and far between and research has been limited, however, it is mounting as mobile Internet usage increases. Perhaps, more assurance is needed from these companies and organisations (including mobile phone manufacturers’) that proper measures and safeguards will be put in place to ensure that the ‘real’ threat posed by would-be hackers and criminals are eliminated before making more pledges.