Case Study: Content-management System for Mobile Advertisements

Auriga’s Customer, an ISV company that develops and delivers innovative mobile multimedia and advertising solutions to mobile operators and content providers, entered the market of mobile advertising with a multi-channel media-rich advertisement solution for the delivery of optimized, high-quality, multimedia advertisements over different delivery channels. Continue reading

Case Study: Mobile Banking Application

To stay ahead of the changing market, Auriga engineers developed a comprehensive mobile banking application for customers to manage their bank accounts, transactions, and payments. The application was created in close cooperation with banking analysts and experts. It combines the best practices of our core service lines—financial and mobile development. The app is targeted at iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, RIM (Blackberry), and Bada platforms, and it follows the stringent security standards of private personal and banking information. Continue reading

Windows Phone 8: A New Attempt to Conquer the Mobile Operating Systems Market

The announcement that the first Windows Phone 8 smartphones are to hit the market this fall triggered renewed discussions about the outlook of the mobile OS market.

Recently, as reported by marketing company Kantar Worldpanel, there has been an upsurge in Windows Phone 7 market share in all the main markets. Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France, and the USA have witnessed the doubling of the share since the beginning of 2012. IDC experts forecast that by the end of 2012, Microsoft’s operating system will have reached 5.2% of the global mobile OS market, significantly less than the share of Android, iOS, and Blackberry. However, IDC also reports that Windows Phone will take second place right after Android, with 19.2% market share and a unique growth rate of almost 50% in just four years, which will subsequently lead to an applications development boom for this OS.

Despite our clients’ conceptual interest in two leading mobile operating systems, Auriga has never wiped Microsoft products off the slate. The company’s engineers study the technological capabilities of the platform, as well as its hints and tips, with the aim of successful and quality WP7 applications development. Among projects successfully completed from scratch, Auriga can proudly present a mobile banking application for customers to manage their bank accounts, transactions, and payments and Travel Assistant, a solution for travel agents.

The mobile banking application is one of Auriga’s most promising solutions, and it has already attracted the interest of several banks. This ready-made mobile solution for banks is an application for managing accounts, cards, and deposits on a smartphone (the app works with Windows Phone 7 as well as with iOS, Android, RIM (Blackberry), and Bada). The application was created in close cooperation with banking analysts and experts, and our engineers examined all recent trends in the information security domain and applied their most up-to-date knowledge in the development of the application.

Another Windows Phone 7 solution, Travel Assistant, is an app that allows users to search flights with the option of booking.

The company’s engineers are currently working on other WP7 projects and look forward to the Windows Phone 8 release. The experience of Auriga’s engineers allows them to develop complex solutions in good time. In addition, if the analysts are right, then the volume of work for our programmers will definitely increase in the near future.

Auriga Actively Develops Mobile Banking for SMEs

One of the most topical issues among both members of the banking sector and analysts is the prospect of remote banking growth. To keep up with the latest market trends and to be able to provide customers with the most up-to-date solutions, Alexander Videnev, Auriga’s Business Development Director, took part in a number of specialized events. These included the third international ‘Remote Banking 2012’ forum and a panel discussion ‘SME Crediting: from Single Operation to a Conveyor Line’ organized by CNews Conferences, Marketing Communications Agency.

It is evident that remote banking in Russia is developing rapidly and has become an integral part of bank-customer communication. However, the remote banking solutions offered by banks today are not yet eagerly sought by their customers, and at the same time, the share of customers using remote banking services in Russia is still lower than that in western countries. On average, around 40-50% of all Internet users in Europe, the USA, and Australia take advantage of Internet banking. In Russia, only 6-12% (based on various estimates) of online users make use of Internet banking, and even fewer users opt for mobile banking.

Nevertheless, banking sector representatives are predicting the perceived benefits of remote banking in Russia: experts forecast a surge in the growth of the demand for remote banking services in the coming years. Ultimately, integrated, multifunctional, and reliable remote banking systems that promote the availability of banking services and the simplicity of their use will attract the most interest from banks and their customers.

What should we get as the result from the standpoint of end users? Every actively involved banking customer wants to have complete access to his/her accounts including the option of accessing a wide range of banking operations, from account information displays and payment systems to loan applications. However, customers want to complete their transactions at a time and place suitable for them. Various remote banking systems—mobile banking, in particular—are revolutionizing the banking services sector in terms of comfort, mobility, and flexibility.

Why do experts think that mobile banking is a safe bet?

Analysts forecast that mobile service penetration with reach nine billion users by 2017, while the number of actual users will amount to five billion people, 85% of which will be able to use high-speed 3G mobile Internet.

The logical consequence will be the increase in the number of smartphones users. According to the estimates made by Ericsson experts, the number of smartphone owners will increase from 700 million to three billion by 2017. And while at the moment, the smartphone user base in Russia accounts for less than 50 million people, the situation will change dramatically in the coming years, because based on the data provided by retailers, every third phone sold in Russia these days is a smartphone. Cell phone service providers confirm that by the end of 2013, 70%-80% of cell phones will be replaced by smartphones.

In summary, currently, the positive environment allows business development adjustments with a focus on remote services for customers. But it is important to note that customers are not merely individuals but also SMEs that have not yet been covered by remote banking services. The SME share of production volume in Russia’s GDP grows year-by-year, approximating one third of GDP. Putting two and two together, we can now talk about a warmed-up market that can be penetrated with new and interesting solutions.

Traditional ideas that mobile applications, unlike Internet-banking, are created for the comfort of individual customers only hamper the dynamic development of such applications. However, a new, interesting solution with functionalities for corporate accounts and adequate data-security levels could significantly change the market balance and lead to a boom similar to the Internet-boom of the 2000s.

Auriga actively developed its own mobile banking application for SMEs. This application will allow SMEs to carry out their transactions quickly and effectively on the majority of existing mobile platforms anytime and anywhere in the world.

It will considerably simplify clearing and settlement transactions, payment-order creation, currency purchases, and cash-inflow monitoring for bank customers. Thanks to these functionalities along with the adherence to stringent security standards and positive reactions from a number of banks that already took interest in the solution, we can now confidently say that this is a timely product that will be in demand on the remote banking services market, and in the mid-run, it will obtain a wide circulation.

The World On the Threshold of an “All Things Mobile” Era

It seems that a new era, the “all things mobile” period, is approaching—at least that’s what the CTIA Association chose as its slogan for its International CTIA Wireless Conference, held on May 8–10 in New Orleans, LA. Hoping to get a few insights into the upcoming trends and to harvest some promising leads, Alexey Rybakov (VP, Business Development) and Andrey Pronin (SVP, Strategy, Technology, and Marketing) visited the event.

Wireless products and services are a powerful agent of social change that allow billions of people around the world anytime, anywhere access, according to the report released by BSR and CTIA, named “Socioeconomic Impacts of Wireless Technology.” It is mentioned that due to wireless technology, billions of “underbanked” or “unbanked” people worldwide have access to market information and banking services, so they receive a fair price for their goods and services and protect their money. Our colleagues also noted the high share of interest, announcements, and applications presented at the CTIA Wireless 2012 event and devoted to the mobile banking market.

For example, Sprint CEO Dan Hasse made the following key points in his presentation:

  • Ÿ Globally, more people have mobile phones than electricity
  • Ÿ There are roughly 6 billion people with mobile devices in the world, and less than 2 billion bank accounts
  • Ÿ There is 60% growth in payments with mobile devices, and this is expected to grow from about $200B in 2012 to over $800B in 2014
  • Ÿ Still, about 85% of global payment transactions today are via cash, and only about 15% of transactions are electronic using payment methods like credit cards or mobile devices

The question is how to translate this set of sometimes-conflicting evolutions into a single trend? According to Dan Hasse, some obvious problems need to be addressed at the organization or even industry levels (e.g., the lack of cross-platform support for existing applications, the variety of competing digital wallets and payment systems with their historical limitations). Banks are well known for their information protection policies, leading to application limitations for end users. Hasse also outlined the critical importance of building trust with customers and the need to improve the reputation of the wireless industry. In fact, it turns out that more than 82% of users do not have safety or security applications installed on their device, and most don’t entrust their savings to the net.

The CTIA Wireless Trade Show was shaken up by two big mobile payment-processing announcements from MasterCard and VeriFone. This leads us to believe that the mobile finance story has enough potential to stir the market.

MasterCard announced its entry into the digital wallet fray. The revolutionary wallet service dubbed PayPass will help merchants to add contactless payment options for consumers. It allows the users to accept and send electronic payments across multiple channels at the point of sale with NFC technology or online; to use American Express, Discover, Visa, and other branded credit, debit, and prepaid cards; and to connect the digital wallets into the PayPass Acceptance Network, leveraging MasterCard’s check-out, fraud detection, and authentication services. Barnes & Noble and American Airlines will be the first major companies piloting the payment technology, but more are expected to follow suit, particularly because MasterCard has opened up its API to allow anyone to build on the technology’s architecture.

Payment-processing giant VeriFone also announced a new payment technology called SAIL. Offering the sellers a free credit card reader that connects to iOS and Android devices without much effort and a $9.95 monthly subscription for power retailers that want to lower their per-charge fee from 2.7% to 1.95%, VeriFone is going to seize a rather large market share from competitors. The most likely users of the new payment service are small businesses such as cafes, roadside shops, and private enterprises. Existing VeriFone customers worldwide can also integrate their operations in SAIL, with a special program and a mobile wireless terminal that accepts NFC-payments from various systems such as Google Wallet. In the long term, VeriFone plans to release the SDK for developers so they can create various applications and plug-ins (e.g., sales analysis system, providing “live” data on purchases, modules for integration into existing ERP and CRM systems).

To stay ahead of the changing market, Auriga engineers developed a comprehensive mobile banking application for customers to manage their bank accounts, transactions, and payments. The application was created in close cooperation with banking analysts and experts. It combines the best practices of our core service lines—financial and mobile development. The app is targeted at iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, RIM (Blackberry), and Bada platforms, and it follows the stringent security standards of private personal and banking information. Therefore, our business analysts and engineers examined all recent trends in the information-security domain. The following features are in addition to the standard features of the banking apps on the market:

  • Secure data storage
  • Complete cleaning of temporary storage
  • Data encryption of information
  • Ÿ Data disclosure in the code of the application, preventing usage of the information after hacking
  • Access qualification from the application to system data
  • Solid protection mechanisms ingrained in the solution
  • Implementation of so-called operations templates that eliminate the possibility of making payments and transfers to third parties and organizations
  • Ÿ Timeout payments for a period of one to three days in cases of payment transactions to counterparties not listed in the templates

These protective measures reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions on customer accounts. Several large Russian retail banks are currently using this application.

Alexander Videnev, Business Development Director, shared his insights on the current trends and perspectives of mobile banking development:

In fact, we’re not going to limit ourselves by developing applications designed for individuals only. One of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas is the segment of small businesses that is perfectly illustrated by the new product releases of MasterCard and VeriFone. In fact, we are ready to launch a project to develop an application for small enterprises in the short term. It’s expected to provide them with the ability to check enterprise accounts and payment options on-line and track payment documents. At present, we are examining the issues related to ensuring the highest level of security for this solution.

About CTIA Wireless

CTIA, The Wireless Association® (http://www.ctia.org/), is an international nonprofit membership organization that has represented the wireless communications industry since 1984. Association members include wireless carriers and their suppliers as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products.

The association advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. CTIA also coordinates the industry’s voluntary efforts to provide consumers with a variety of choices and information regarding their wireless products and services. This includes the voluntary industry guidelines, programs that promote mobile device recycling and reusing, and wireless accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

CTIA also supports numerous important industry initiatives and operates the industry’s leading trade shows as well as equipment testing and certification programs to ensure a high standard of quality for consumers.