What comes to mind when you think about mobile apps? Entertainment? Convenience? Socializing? That’s fairly normal, as we all use apps every day for hundreds of reasons. Now, you may not worry too much about how secure your Candy Crush account is, or if someone else is pretending to be you on LinkedIn; but, in many FinTech apps we use daily, security is everything.
Banking and financial technology apps, above all, need to be as secure and private as anything you do on your phone. Yet, to have a successful FinTech app, you also need convenience, mobility, and speed. How can you develop ultimate security and make it user-friendly and fast? We’ve narrowed down three features that your new banking app can’t do business without.
You Get Strong, They Get Stronger
There’s an interesting battle going on in the world today at a microscopic level. At the same time, scientists are developing the strongest and most effective antibiotics in medical history, the bacteria are rapidly evolving to become resistant to these drugs. As medicine gets stronger, the bacteria become stronger still. Why are we bringing this up (other than to remind you to wash your hands often!)? Well, because the more advanced security technology becomes to protect a banking app, the more resourceful and powerful cybercriminals become to overcome security and steal your money. In a study conducted in 2018 by Javelin, 16.7 million consumers were affected by various cases of identity fraud, resulting in $16.8 billion in stolen funds. Got your attention yet?
Criminals never stop working to beat these systems, which means developers can’t ever stop improving them, either. Knowing this, any development process for any FinTech app needs to include the best security measures available.
Where and how to store data is an integral part of any app development, but it’s particularly important for banking apps. Most apps store data on the device itself, which makes sense as it boosts performance and speed. It also, however, makes your unsecured phone or tablet vulnerable to theft and subsequent capture of passwords and transaction-related data.
Storing data in remote encrypted spaces is a necessary security step which should be built into your banking app from the initial stages. This is not something you hold off on, so make sure to remotely integrate encrypted data into your development plan from the beginning.
This is the most rapidly developing security measure happening today, and you likely have a few features on your device already. Many phones have fingerprint recognition technology in place, and while we may see it as a quick and convenient way to unlock your phone, criminals have a much tougher time accessing your financial apps and information without it.
Fraud is rampant in today’s digital world, and the giant financial institutions and industry regulators are facing more and more pressure from the consumer to make multi-level authentication a transparent and required feature. So, in response, both phone producers and financial app developers have made great strides in the biometrics field. In addition to the now ubiquitous fingerprint authentication we mentioned above, new secure identification measures include facial recognition, iris, and retina scans, and even DNA tests. According to Apple, chances are 1 in 1,000,000 that someone could unlock your device with their face, the latest data reinforces the even higher odds that one could crack your Face or Touch ID while simultaneously guessing your password.
Make no mistake, secure passwords are still a crucial part of security, so keeping them on a sticky note on your monitor or the old “1234” trick isn’t keeping you safe anymore. Making both a requirement to access your app will go a long way towards keeping data secure, and many personal banking apps are doing just that.
Another emerging technology that helps keep financial transactions secure is digital signatures. These basically work as encrypted verification keys for any given transaction, and act as a time stamp, identity voucher and a verification that both the sender and receiver intended to and executed the transaction. Any disruption or attempt to change the original transaction after the signature will invalidate the transaction…meaning, a disgruntled or fraudulent party to the agreement can’t take any steps to rework the document, or even claim that they never meant to sign or send it.
Now, this technology requires a few exterior factors. You’ll need to install Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which is essentially the combination of private keys (which only the signing parties have) and public keys, which others use to translate the encrypted signature data.
Also, you’ll need a Certificate Authority (CA) that acts as a third-party authenticator and private key translator, which can be any number of trusted companies. DocuSign, one of the leaders in facilitating digital signatures, can act as a CA in certain instances. Simply put, this technology is powerful enough to be used by heads of state in international agreements and the world’s biggest banks for their most important transactions…shouldn’t you consider it for your banking app?
How to Balance Security and User Experience
So, we’ve just discussed three financial security measures you should be considering for your FinTech app. Any combination of these, in addition to keeping up with privacy and security steps on the back end of app development, should go a long way in keeping your users safe. That said, what you don’t want are clunky and fussy steps interrupting and disrupting your sleek new app. After all, you developed it to make life easier for the user, not to make them consider standing in line at the bank again. However, you also need trusted and powerful security measures to keep your users assured that their financial transactions are safe.
Working with a savvy app development partner who knows all about when and how to invest in the proper security measures while keeping the UX smooth and convenient is the best step to take. This crucial phase of development should be foremost in your planning process for any FinTech app. Now stay safe out there!
Want to learn more about the FinTech apps that Koombea has developed? Check out this case study to read about one of our successful FinTech projects!