Mobile Banking: 3 Risks to Watch

By Ken Otsuka07.18.2018

Nearly two-thirds of consumers use a mobile device to conduct banking transactions, according to Mobile Ecosystem Forum’s 2018 Mobile Money Report.

Mobile banking is a “must have” service for credit unions seeking to remain competitive and keep member satisfaction levels high. However, credit unions need to be aware of the risks associated with mobile banking and know how to address them.

Three of the top risks associated with mobile banking are:

1. Mobile malware

Smartphones are nothing more than compact computers with an operating system and software. Just like with personal computers, smartphone users frequently are targeted by malware.

Mobile malware (e.g., banking Trojans) is designed to steal login credentials or hijack mobile banking sessions in “man-in-the-middle” attacks. This type of malware is spread by Phishing and SMiShing (SMS text message phishing) scams.

2. Phishing & SMiShing

Phishing attacks, typically carried out via email, have been a common way for cyber criminals to spread malware. But mobile banking users are also at risk to mobile malware infections via SMiShing attacks.

Mobile device users may trust SMS text messages more than email, and therefore may be more likely to click on links to malicious websites.

Educate members about the dangers that malware spread via phishing and SMiShing pose to their mobile devices and their finances.

3. Mobile banking apps

Using a dedicated mobile banking app tends to be safer for members than using a mobile web browser to log in to their accounts. This is because apps use secure coding techniques that may limit a cyber criminal’s ability to intercept and control a mobile banking session.

However, malware-laden, fake mobile banking apps designed to steal login credentials have been an ongoing problem for credit unions and their members. Warn members to only download mobile banking applications from trusted sources.