KTH-SEECS Applied Information Security Lab

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)

Secure applications for financial environment

Domain:Secure Mobile Applications

Status: Completed 
Contact Person(s): Muhammad Awais Shibli

Date of Completion: June, 2011 

The lack of access to formal financial services and banking infrastructure is considered by development experts to be a major constraint in economic and social development throughout much of the developing world. Despite the recent widespread growth of mobile money projects, there are several constraints that threaten to slow or impede their continued success, including several key technical, security, business, and regulatory issues.

Secure applications for Financial Environment project will help fund the development of a collection of JAVA applets loaded into a Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) chip – which will transform the closed, proprietary nature of current mobile technology into an open, interoperable architecture. This new technology approach will fundamentally alter existing business models and relationships, which subjects banks and financial organizations to the control of the Mobile Network Operators (MNO's) and encourages MNO's to compete with rather than collaborate with financial institutions.

The opening of the SIM chip to the downloading and management of non-telecom applications from outside sources will provide banks with the enhanced security features they require and the competitive incentive they need to offer expanded mobile financial services. The proposed approach would also open up the mobile phone architecture to banks, MFI's and other parties – which the MNO's should gladly provide in exchange for the additional revenue and usage they would derive from the increased mobile applications (games, mobile ticket, events notifications, etc).The result of the proposed technical activities will be an operational and tested UICC module (subscriber's chip) that can be inserted into a mobile phone and perform with functional capabilities equal to existing SIM chips.