Messages are sent to a Short message service center (SMSC) which provides a "store and forward" mechanism. It attempts to send messages to the SMSC's recipients. If a recipient is not reachable, the SMSC queues the message for later retry. Some SMSCs also provide a "forward and forget" option where transmission is tried only once. Both mobile terminated (MT, for messages sent to a mobile handset) and mobile originating (MO, for those sent from the mobile handset) operations are supported. Message delivery is "best effort", so there are no guarantees that a message will actually be delivered to its recipient, but delay or complete loss of a message is uncommon. Users may request delivery reports to confirm that messages reach the intended recipients, either via the SMS settings of most modern phones, or by prefixing each message with *0# or *N#.eee Challenges for a Mobile Banking Solution
There are a large number of different mobile phone devices and it is a big challenge for banks to offer mobile banking solution on any type of device. Some of these devices support Java ME and others support SIM Application Toolkit, a WAP browser, or only SMS. Initial interoperability issues however have been localized, with countries like India using portals like R-World to enable the limitations of low end java based phones, while focus on areas such as South Africa have defaulted to the USSD as a basis of communication achievable with any phone. The desire for interoperability is largely dependent on the banks themselves, where installed applications(Java based or native) provide better security, are easier to use and allow development of more complex capabilities similar to those of internet banking while SMS can provide the basics but becomes difficult to operate with more complex transactions. There is a myth that there is a challenge of interoperability between mobile banking applications due to perceived lack of common technology standards for mobile banking. In practice it is too early in the service lifecycle for interoperability to be addressed within an individual country, as very few countries have more than one mobile banking service provider. In practice, banking interfaces are well defined and money movements between banks follow the IS0-8583 standard. As mobile banking matures, money movements between service providers will naturally adopt the same standards as in the banking world.
Security of financial transactions, being executed from some remote location and transmission of financial information over the air, are the most complicated challenges that need to be addressed jointly by mobile application developers, wireless network service providers and the banks' IT departments. The following aspects need to be addressed to offer a secure infrastructure for financial transaction over wireless network :Physical part of the hand-held device. If the bank is offering smart-card based security, the physical security of the device is more important. 1. Security of any thick-client application running on the device. In case the device is stolen, the hacker should require at least an ID/Password to access the application. 2. Authentication of the device with service provider before initiating a transaction. This would ensure that unauthorized devices are not connected to perform financial transactions. 3. User ID / Password authentication of bank’s customer. 4. Encryption of the data being transmitted over the air. 5. Encryption of the data that will be stored in device for later / off-line analysis by the customer.
Due to the nature of the connectivity between bank and its customers, it would be impractical to expect customers to regularly visit banks or connect to a web site for regular upgrade of their mobile banking application. It will be expected that the mobile application itself check the upgrades and updates and...