Can You Bank on the Google Play Store’s Security?

Jan 10, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

Mobile banking is something that millions of people around the world rely on every day to conduct their everyday banking needs. From balance requests to transfers and even loan applications, mobile apps provide a secure and convenient way of managing your finances.

Security is obviously the number one concern when building a banking app, and as such, developers will throw the digital equivalent of Fort Knox-type security at any application they release to the public. This is important because fraud is an increasing problem on mobile devices.

ALERT: 65 percent of fraudulent transactions happen on mobile devices.

The Weakest Link  

Poor human judgment remains the number one threat leading to mobile-related fraud, with email and telephone “Phishing” attacks contributing to 48 percent of all financial fraud in the first quarter of 2018. More sophisticated “Trojan Horse” attacks, attributed to malicious software, applications, and viruses, accounted for 25 percent of the fraudulent activity. 

The average level of fraud on a mobile device costs financial institutes and their customers $508. When you consider this is 144 percent higher than the average legitimate transaction – you can see how lucrative the business of fraud is.

Fake Bank Apps Found on Google Play Store

Understandably, the consumers’ fear of fraud is a significant roadblock banks have to navigate as they attempt to drive more business via mobile services (delivering more efficient and therefore profitable services).

So the news that IT security firm ESET recently found a number of fake banking apps targeting banking customers in Australia, Austria, New Zealand, Poland, and The United Kingdom will be of huge concern to the banks and their customers alike.

The fake banking apps used bogus forms to harvest credit card details and login information. While the majority of the fake apps simply mimicked genuine services, one took advantage of the fact that there was no official app available from the bank in question.

The apps had been installed on more than 1,000 devices before being removed by Google.

Security Advice

Security experts warn consumers to be wary of downloading banking apps from the Google Play Store and suggest paying particular attention to the number of downloads an app has received, as well as app ratings and reviews. It is also vitally important that consumers only enter sensitive information into online forms if they are sure of their security and legitimacy.

Pre-Loading – Security You Can Bank On

Digital Turbine has worked with the number of banks and financial institutions to securely pre-load apps onto new mobile devices. This has helped them reach new customers, increase client engagement and deliver the kind of efficiencies that the modern banking industry requires in terms of customer acquisition and service.

Because all pre-loaded apps must undergo rigorous security and quality checks from Digital Turbine and device manufacturers, consumers are guaranteed peace-of-mind and are therefore more likely to activate and engage the app.

Pre-loading is also a very efficient method of delivering app-based services to people who typically wouldn’t visit an App Store.

Further Reading: App Usage through the Ages – Targeting Older, More Lucrative Users

To learn more about how pre-loading can help your business deliver a more secure approach to app distribution, speak to one of our advisors today.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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