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Friday , December 7 , 2012
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Cell banking faces hurdles

Calcutta, Dec. 6: Non-standardisation of handsets and device security are proving to be major hurdles to the use of mobile phones in banking transactions, according to speakers at the theme session of Infocom 2012, which was on mobility.

Infocom 2012 is an ICT conclave organised by Businessworld, an ABP Group publication. It is into its 11th edition now.

The theme session, “Mobility — Coming to grips with new reality”, was chaired by Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor, department of electrical engineering, IIT Chennai.

Deliberations at the session covered mobile technology, enterprise mobility, mobile banking, mobile education, policies and visions.

Speakers included A. Krishna Kumar, managing director and group executive (NBG), the State Bank of India; Debjani Ghosh, managing director (sales & marketing group), Intel South Asia; and Amitabh Ray, senior vice-president, Ericsson India Global Services.

“Banks risk losing customers if they do not provide mobile banking solutions. There are 900 million cellphone users in the country. This is the potential available to banks. The trend started 3-4 years back followed by exponential growth but that is hardly scratching the surface. It still has not really taken off. Mobiles have been one of the primary movers in reaching the non-bank areas,” Krishna Kumar said.

According to him, cells enabled with the near field communication technology through which consumers can avoid the physical payment of cash is the technology to watch out for. However, the plethora of devices and the lack of standardisation are hampering the uniformity of service applications.

Ghosh said mobility was not only about using cellphones, but a transition from an era of personal computers to personalised computing. She said by 2015, an additional one billion people would be added to the Internet along with 15 billion connected devices.

Ericsson’s Ray stressed legal issues. “There is thus a need for stringent privacy laws,” he said.

Ray added that there was a need for integration and his company was working towards that. It’s not about cellphones anymore, but about how to make gadgets work together seamlessly.