Nedbank is in the game ! After a long period of silence the Green giant has not only woken but is ready and able to deploy its very innovative and highly secure mobile application suite.
Today the Media gathered at Nedbank’s office where Nedbank CEO Mike Brown presented his “Mobile Journey” which started 3 years ago in the US where the iPhone was all the rage and Apps from the Apple store were all people spoke about.
Mike Brown recognises that Nedbank has 20% footprint in major cities such as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town but has less market share in the wide open and less populated areas in SA. “We are not going to catch up in the footprint, but we needed to plan strongly in the mobile space, which is a great strategy driver for us,”
Fred Swanepoel, Nedbank’s Chief Information Officer, confirms that the “Anywhere, Anytime, Mobile Banking” is the underlying message of the Nedbank App Suite where there are three principles that guide the journey:
1. Security: clearly this was where Nedbank spent most of its time. After scouring the world looking for a partner that could deploy a secure platform, they found a company based in Stellenbosch called Entersekt.
2. Integration: The applications are designed in such a way that regardless of what legacy & backoffice systems the bank uses, the client will have a seamless experience.
3. “The Highway”: Nedbank has deployed not just a mobile application, but rather a platform that allows Nedbank to roll out multiple applications to their customers. As new features become available, they are seamlessly deployed. As new innovative ideas are released, the customer enjoys the benefits.
Christiaan Brand, CTO Entersekt was on hand to describe how their method of authentication is a world first and since deploying this to their customers six month ago, and over 6 million sessions, they have had not one single case of phishing attack on their network. In an industry that suffers millions per annum on fraud, this is something to take note of.
Brand confirms that “The technology we used for the App Suite doesn’t rely on the phone’s internal cryptography nor the certificate issuing authority” Brand continues to explain that “the user needs to know that they are talking to Nedbank and not someone else and Nedbank needs to know that they are talking to the user and not someone else”
Essentially the application’s security had two options. If the customer does not have the native Nedbank banking app installed, the system uses push USSD messaging. In other words a message is pushed to the phone asking for authorisation. This is not a One Time Pin (OTP) which is sent via SMS as these are susceptible to SIM-Swap fraud when criminals swap out your SIM and they get the password sent to them. Thereby defeating the SMS password.
The second authentication method is done via Push Messages, which requires the customer to have the native app installed on their phone. The Push Message authenticates the device and the user enters their pin. This creates a secure tunnel between the device and the application.
The current application suite is made of numerous applications:
The Banking app:
This is “what we come to expect for a banking app” with two unique offering. The first is that the Nedbank app is the only one that allows you to add a beneficiary from the app and it is the only app that allows you to make once off payment to anyone at any bank.
The Share Trading app:
Sell and Buy shares directly from your mobile phone. This has all the features of share trading platform such as number of shares, price, validity of trade etc.
The Business Banking app:
Ever been called back into the office just to release payment ? well no more. The Business app allows you to preform tasks such as Authorise payment from your phone.
Hot on the reveal of this suite of application the next app is Financial Planning application to be revealed later this week.
So in summary:
Nedbank has a clear vision of not only what they would like to offer their customers and thanks to their investment in the right technology partner the are able to do so.
They recognise that not everyone has a smartphone and therefore their applications are able to work across the gamet of phones in the market today – from the old J2ME phones right up to smartphones and tablets.
There are those who say that Nedbank is too late and are copying other banks. This is not true. Having a banking app is not a luxury but a necessity. There is no bank that does not have a website, a banking internet site, a mobi site and now its mandatory to have a banking app. Customers demand it.
Not only has Nedbank arrived, but they have arrived in style with a platform that will take them and their customers into the future.
If you are Nedbank customer, these apps will be available to you at no extra charge (regular transaction fees apply). You can get these app in August when they are officially announced.
[update 26 July 2012: Nedbank launched MyFinancialLife]