Mobile applications are gaining more traction in the finance industry as well as elsewhere, and Forrester has a great overview of Mobile banking apps in their recent research piece on Mobile Banking. Even though these apps are being developed in different fashions, offering different functionality, whether they are developed in-house or outside, they have one thing in common. The need to protect that critical information utilised by the mobile application.
Protecting applications can be done on various levels, and two factor authentication is a prerequisite. Symantec just published a white paper on how this could be implemented using Symantec VIP Service to quickly and easily protect mobile applications. I think this is the baseline of protection needed. At the same time banks are being challenged to be more user friendly and innovative by their customers as competition increases. So my advice is, implement easy to use and manage services, such as the Symantec VIP service, and spend time on exploring new technology such as application wrapping and management in parallel. Mobile moves fast, and banks can neither afford not to be mobile, nor putting customers at risk.