The use of SMS is growing fast in the financial sectors. Over the past few years, several leading banks and credit card institutions around the world have launched mobile services to allow their customers to perform balance checks, view account transactions and make payments using their mobile phone. The introduction of mobile banking either via mobile Internet or via SMS is a response to an increasing demand from customers for a safe and easy way to control their account information while they are "on the go."
However, the security and privacy of SMS is on top of the list of concerns for most customers and the banks are currently struggling to address these concerns in their current SMS banking offering.
The new mobile application, SafeBox, launched by Irish software company SafeBox Ltd., allows mobile users to send and receive private and encrypted SMS, within a list of selected private contacts, inside of a private area of their mobile phone. This private area is protected by a personal PIN to prevent access in the event that the phone is ever lost, stolen or simply ends up in the wrong hands for a while. The SMS and contact information stored in the SafeBox application are not visible anywhere else in the phone and do not even appear in the normal SMS or phonebook folders.
“Our SafeBox app mirrors the standard SMS behaviour of the phones which makes it intuitive and simple to use for everyone and doesn’t require any technical knowledge.” said Philippe Joly, CEO, SafeBox Ltd. “ The application is currently available in 7 languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian and Italian) and we are delighted to see that SafeBox has already attracted more than a quarter of a million users in just a few months”.
The user base will continue to grow fast as the company recently rolled out its worldwide distribution strategy through a strong network of mobile operators and content providers, already live in France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and more deploys planned before the end of 2010. The App is also available in all major independent App stores such as GetJar, Handango, PocketGear, worldwide.
Up until now, the SafeBox application has been mainly used in the consumer markets, where people want to communicate by SMS privately, and this market has proven very successful, but the company is now planning to also target Enterprises and specifically banks and financial institutions with a customised version of the SafeBox application and additonal security products including One-Time-Password (OTP) and advanced encryption solutions using Elliptic Curve Cryptography.
SafeBox is addressing the lack of encryption in traditional SMS messages, which is inherent to the SMS banking channel.
The company is proposing its SafeBox mobile application as an add-on to the banks’ existing SMS banking service with a simple plug-and-play architecture and a set of APIs that will allow banks to roll out the white-labelled or co-branded application very quickly and at minimal cost.
The application was initially developed for Java and Symbian phones, because of their large market share worldwide, to enable the vast majority of mobile users to benefit from the SafeBox privacy application. It is now also available on Blackberry devices and will shortly be available on Android.
A number of trials are currently under discussion in selected territories and the company is confident that those trials will convert into full implementations rapidly thanks to the low level of effort to implement SafeBox into any existing SMS banking solution.
Visit safebox.mobi for more information.