Banks, accounting firms and other companies in the financial sector face some serious challenges when it comes to digital security. According to one study’s estimate, hackers steal as much as $575 billion annually. And while that study did not differentiate between incidents involving mobile apps and traditional websites, the potential for app vulnerability exploitation is well-known.
The DFW Metroplex region is renowned as a thriving financial sector, but that’s not the only major player in the local scene. A total of 43 percent of the state’s high-tech industry can be found in Dallas. Financial mobile app development strategy has subsequently emerged as a local hot-button topic, particularly as it relates to issues of security.
The reality is you could develop the Fort Knox of the financial app world and it wouldn’t provide a tangible benefit unless you could also successfully communicate those security measures to your users. In short, your development strategy must blend sophisticated encryption and security measures with features that cultivate user trust. This requires help from a company with experience in the realm of secure financial app development.
Establishing an Element of Trust for Financial Mobile Apps
While a coupon finder app may not require military-grade security and high-level encryption capabilities, a majority of financial apps do need these measures because they deal with sensitive financial and personal data. If a user is inputting info about their identity, their finances or will send/receive money via the user interface (UI), security and privacy will be vital facets of your mobile app development process.
Most financial mobile apps like banking, credit, or real estate apps, face a challenge few other niches must consider: the user’s perception of app security and privacy. You’re tasked with implementing and then showcasing high-tech, top-of-the-line security features that will protect your users’ data. You can’t achieve trust—and in turn, user loyalty—until your user is reassured that their information will remain confidential.
As such, you’ll need to work with a developer who can highlight high-level security features in a way that’s apparent to the user. It can be as simple as implementing an option that allows for the use of two-factor authentication when logging into the app. Other examples include adding descriptive text to your loading screens (e.g. “Encrypting and Sending Data…” in addition to the traditional loading bar or spinning pinwheel). It’s also wise to mention your security features in the app description, on the app’s website and in marketing materials. These measures are key to establishing that fundamental element of trust.
Encrypting Data as it’s Sent, Received and Stored
When planning the financial mobile app development process, you must consider all stages of the data life cycle. Data must be protected both when it’s transmitted and when it’s stored, whether it’s on your private servers or the user’s device.
Encryption refers to the process of converting raw data into an encoded format that’s unreadable and essentially unusable if anyone were to intercept and access that data. SSL technology allows you to encrypt data when it’s being sent from point A to point B, while additional measures are required to ensure that data is stored in an encrypted format. Many mobile apps store data on the user’s device, while other data is kept in a dedicated server or cloud hosting platform. You’ll need to work with your developers and tech team to ensure your users’ data is safe and secure during every stage of this process.
At 7T, the mobile apps we develop include highly-refined security features like 4096-bit SSL technology—the most sophisticated level of SSL encryption currently available.
Meeting Privacy and Data-Handling Regulations
In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of laws and regulations that govern how sensitive information and personal data is handled and digitally stored. Many American companies are impacted by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which affect any company that deals with a person physically situated in the EU or an EU citizen.
The global nature of finance and banking means that financial institutions are among the most frequently affected business types. To illustrate, let’s say a client of your U.S.-based bank relocates to the EU for work, where they’ll live for a year. But that person keeps their money in your United States based bank and they continue using your mobile banking app and tools. That American bank would need to adhere to the stringent GDPR. Violations carry a fine of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of the company’s worldwide revenue (depending on which is larger).
Many companies across the globe are using the GDPR compliance criteria as their new “bar,” since these regulations are amongst the strictest and most comprehensive on the planet. The GDPR imposes rules on data collection, storage, processing and monitoring. This means companies and developers alike must meet the GDPR criteria and ensure the app allows EU-based users to exercise their rights, including rights to access and modify information, the “right to be forgotten,” the right to data breach notification and more.
Fortunately, by meeting the requirements set forth by the GDPR, chances are that your app will also be in line with the state and federal laws impacting mobile apps for financial companies and organizations.
Security and Mobile Technology to Cut Development Costs and Timeframe
According to data from the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex region represents the single largest center for tech companies in the state of Texas—including 7T. Based in Dallas, with offices in Houston and Austin, our mobile developers work with clients throughout the Texas Triangle and beyond. So whether you’re across the city or across the planet, our team is well-equipped to build a financial app to suit your needs, whether it’s an easy-to-use budgeting app, a mobile banking app for a family-owned bank or a comprehensive financial tracking app for a Fortune 500 corporation.
Financial mobile app development can be complex and time-consuming, so to reduce costs and shorten the project’s timeframe, 7T leverages our open source app platform, STAX, along with our Brigade mobile security interface. This ensures your application is equipped with the highest level, military-grade security features and shortens the development timeframe by as much as 30 to 40 percent. If you’re ready to start the financial mobile app development process, we invite you to contact the team at 7T to discuss your project today.