Will People Use It?

It is such an amazing situation for me - this constant question: "will people use it?". It is like self-fulfilling prophecies. It seems to me that that is what analysts do. They take positions and then their positions make things happen... and we easily forget when they were wrong.

Take Y2K. Even weeks before 31 December, the world was only 63% ready. Yet nothing happened, except that the world spent billions to be "ready".
So why can't analysts get themselves to say that if banks don't deploy mobile banking they will be out of business in ten years.... like they did with Internet banking? Maybe it is because there is nothing sexy about stating the obvious. Lets just take one case study in South Africa. A bank called First National Bank (FNB), launched mobile banking in little more than two years ago. This is some of their results:
  • Have more mobile banking customers than Internet banking customers within two years. It took them more than fifteen years to get to the same numbers with the Internet
  • The monetary value running through their mobile banking deployment have risen to a point where it is conceivable to outstrip credit card purchase volumes in the next year.
  • The service became profitable within eighteen months - now adding a sizable value to the bottom line.
Will people use it? Come-on, get real..

cCam v1.02 For Symbian 3rd

cCam is a camera capture program that run on Nokia phone S60.
It feature no shutter sound and no flash light, it save to default memory card image directory.

cCam v1.02 For Symbian 3rd edition

Mobile Banking Fraud!

Two cases of transactional fraud was recently reported in South Africa. The one related to the arrests of waitresses at a well-known restaurant. Waitresses were paid for "skimming" of credit card information, which were later utilised for fraudulent transactions. Read more here.

In the other it was reported that criminals conducted fraudulent transactions on ABSA clients, by swapping client's SIM cards. Read more about it here. This was a much more elaborate sting and was based on a security measure implemented by ABSA where a one-time password is sent to a clients cellphone for entry into a website. By swapping SIM cards, criminals could intercept this critical and important password in order to complete the fraud.

Both of these fraudulent acts were possible because of a weak Dual Factor Authentication (DFA)implementation (or the lack thereof). Criminals were able to steal clients' identity, because this was solely based on one factor (the card, or the mobile phone). If one managed to intercept this device (only one factor), one would have access to the client's financial information and it is possible to commit a fraud.

An improved version of DFA would have prevented these frauds. For instance, even if the SIM have been swapped, the one-time password would only be visible after entry of a private key, or if the card have been skimmed, could only be used if a secret PIN entry is required before a payment can be completed. Both these designs are incorporated in Fundamo technology, which makes it the most secure mechanism to interact with your bank.

Perceptions of Banking in Developing Worlds

It is a phenomena that many observers have seen: Mobile banking is taking off in developing world more rapidly than in first world economies. Many people have asked why? I have now come across a number of people that seems to imply that this is because people in developing countries are prepared to use inferior products, that they would not mind using mobile banking if it is insecure or not usable - this is so far from the truth and is an indication of a lack of exposure and understanding.
Mobile banking deployments in Africa are far more advanced (both technologically and conceptually) than what is available in other parts of the world. These solutions deploy the highest degree of security and design than any I have seen. (and I have been around). As a matter of fact these solutions represents a quantum jump in security and features. If true (which I think you may doubt anyhow), why would this be the case?
I believe this came about because of the following reasons:
a. Development of mobile banking in Africa was developed "under the radar". It was not scrutinised as is usually the case with advances in technology. Nobody felt like copying the developments or even to analyse them in more detail. This lead to the development of extremely advanced secure solutions over almost TEN years, without any-one else doing it.
b. Africa do not have any legacy systems. As we all know, legacy systems often constrain systems development. Mobile banking systems in the early days were not exposed to these constraints.
c. When you have very little and have lots of needs, you are more prepared to experiment. This was/is the case in Africa, where subscribers, corporates and governments embraced mobile banking as a means to alleviate many of the problems of Africa. Also in these situations you are more forgiving. This allowed mobile banking to evolve to a very powerful solution.
It pains me when people belittle the technology from developing economies. This technology is far more advanced than what is available in developed economies. If you don't believe me, come and have a look.

An inside on Chinese internet censorship

Recently Reporters Without Borders had put together a report on the Chinese government's massive censorship operation. The whole operation is very much up and active whose primary focus is on the censorship of internet. The report states that the Chinese government has instituted an elaborate system for Internet censorship that employs tens of thousands of censors and police responsible for maintaining control over the flow of information.

To control the information flow over such a vast network, three leading government agencies have evolved over the last several years: the Internet Propaganda Administrative Bureau, the Bureau of Information and Public Opinion, and the Internet Bureau, the report said. In Beijing, where most of China's leading commercial Web sites are based, a powerful local agency has been established called the Beijing Internet Information Administrative Bureau.

It also states that Chinese supervisory bodies often use instant messaging and text messages sent via mobile phones to communicate quickly with commercial websites. The purpose is to tell them which articles or comments are not to be published, and which events or issues are taboo.

"This system of censorship is unparalleled anywhere in the world and is an insult to the spirit of online freedom,” Reporters Without Borders and Chinese Human Rights Defenders said in a joint statement. “With less than a year to go before the Beijing Olympics, there is an urgent need for the government to stop blocking thousands of websites, censoring online news and imprisoning Internet activists.”

Listen and record from hundreds of online radio stations

In my previous article on online radio i wrote about a free music player that lets you create your own "radio station" from a library of songs featured at the site. So this time i thought about mentioning some free website that has some good collection of online radio stations and also about some free software to record online radio station.

Fusa Capital Corporation has launch a free Internet radio search engine that allows consumers to easily access thousands of Internet radio stations from around the world. It has been a challenge for consumers to easily find, save and listen to Internet radio stations from around the world. iheard intends to simplify the discovery of Internet radio stations by providing an intuitive search service with tens of thousands of free Internet radio stations. here is the link

RaimaRadio allows you to listen to and record radio stations from around the world. While listening to your favorite radio station you can record it anytime you want. Browse through the radio stations or just select a random station and enjoy Internet radio! You have total control over your radio stations allowing you to add or delete a station anytime you want. Need to play a station from another application then just enable global hotkeys and control it anytime. Download this free and essential software from here.

Nexus Radio is a free full featured radio player for listeners who want to record their favorite radio content for playback on their PC, or any portable device that supports MP3s. With over 6000+ radio stations and support for thousands more, Nexus Radio delivers the content radio listeners yearn for. Search through a rich variety of radio stations with a straightforward interactive guide that can be updated daily with more content than XM and Sirius radio combined. Whether you are at home or on the road, Nexus Radio can record your favorite songs or radio shows automatically with TiVo style recording for later playback. MP3s recorded with Nexus Radio can be automatically named and tagged with ID3 tag information, and transferred to your iPod or any other multimedia device effortlessly. To download this application click here.

Hey.. by the way, I have my collection of online radio station at http://radiowiki.co.nr and if its bollywood songs that i want the its http://onlyhits.blogspot.com

Mobile Money

Mobile Money is the brand that MTN banking also use in their deployments in South Africa and on their other networks in Africa. We are the primary technology partner for all of these deployments.

But then, "Mobile Money" is a very widely used brand name, as a simple Google search show. I know that everyone can do a Google search so at the risk of boring the reader I thought I would pick my fovorites:

1. Mobile money is the name of a lending company in the UK. I don't know why they call it MM - probably because the loans fly off the shelf.
2. In Malaysia Mobile Money is owned by entrepreneur Lee Eng Sia, who is also known for Cutie Compact toilet rolls which he pioneered and seems to be a well known brand in Malaysia. An yes, MM in Malaysia is the name of a mobile payment solution.
3. The mobile payment solution mPesa (currently being deployed in Kenya and supported by Safaricom/Vodafone) is supposedly Swahili for "mobile money".
4. Mobilemoney is the name of an application that can be loaded on the iPhone, Palm or Winodws CE devices with which you can manage your financial information.

So it is absolutely clear that Money is getting more and more mobile.