Mobile banking is a bad idea

New mobile banking products are rolled out every so often. The latest example is That’s a Java applet that Kiwis are to download on their Java-compatible mobile phones (but not BlackBerry handhelds; and not Windows Mobile devices) to manage their accounts at National Bank of New Zealand.

Someone’s not getting the signal. WAP’s dramatic failure wasn’t enough. Just to remind you: WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) was was a protocol similar to HTTP, using a cut-down version of HTML (called WML). It was optomised for small-screen, small-bandwidth devices. WAP picked up really well in the devices (e.g. mobile phones) . However, while new WAP services tried to make it to the market. all high-end phones started to support HTML quite well, eliminating the need for WAP (the other part of the mobile phone market doesn’t need much but voice calls and perhaps SMS).

So WAP has been doomed. However, ideas of special services designed for mobile devices with special features – those different from general-purpose PCs – are still popping up every now and again. Even after Apple’s iPhone presentation, which point was to show that the general-purpose Web browsers will make it to the phone.

So enterprise architects and business people – please, stop designing something for my mobile phone. Just make sure that your Web application works on a smaller (not that small) screen. And doesn’t require separate user registration.

3 thoughts on “Mobile banking is a bad idea”

  1. I know of many banks in wesern region of Wisconsin that are using off the shelf wireless routers for their internal networks. At one location I was evaulating one as a new client (I do small buiness support). I took the manager outside to my truck and showed her my notebook with a connection to their server with accounts and check images. Her response was that she was not concerned because I knew what I was doing. Needless to say they did not become a client.

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