INTERVIEW: Boosting Security on Smartphone Trading Apps

Gur Geva, CEO of iiDENTIFii

The rate of banking services that are available via mobile devices is growing daily as businesses and individuals are increasingly forced to prioritise digital transformation – one such development is Shyft.

To unpack the security behind this mobile forex trading solution, ITNA’s Jenna Delport chatted to Arno Von Helden, Head of Forex Solutions for Standard Bank and Gur Geva, CEO of iiDENTIFii. Here’s what transpired:

Why is Shyft different from other mobile forex trading solutions?

Von Helden believes Shyft is different because it offers more features than a traditional forex trading solution.

“An individual can buy and sell foreign exchange 24/7. The app also effectively behaves as an offshore bank account, whereby your foreign exchange has effectively left South Africa. From there, using Shyft you can transfer the money to bank accounts across the world, order and link a debit card on which you can load the FX for spending when travelling abroad, create virtual cards for shopping online, and soon you’ll be able to purchase shares and ETF’s listed on the Nasdaq & New York Stock exchange all directly from the app.”

Geva adds that Shyft is built around enabling a smooth, frictionless, and engaging customer experience, while not compromising on security.

“Shyft is innovative in the way it does the hard work in the back-end while ensuring the customer’s flow and journey is not compromised by the complexity of the highly regulated Forex world.”

When it comes to digital app security, how does facial authentication capabilities boost overall protection?

According to Geva, facial biometric authentication matches the individual’s facial features mathematically and compares these respective data to another stored digital image or faceprint in order to verify a person’s identity.

“The benefit of this is that the digital app now is now dependent on the unique biometric features of the individual for security. This boosts overall protection and security infinitely. In addition, it is less invasive because it is a voluntary procedure, and the individual always has their ‘password’ or ‘digital key’, which are their unique facial features with them”.

What is KYC and why is it essential for business?

KYC stands for “Know Your Customer” or “Know Your Client”. KYC is the mandatory process of identifying and verifying the client’s identity. For example, banks and most other financial institutions are legislated to make sure that their clients are genuinely who they claim to be.

Geva says the objective of KYC guidelines is to prevent banks and financial institutions from being used by criminal elements for money laundering activities.

Financial and identity fraud are regarded as ‘silent crimes’, what are some ways people protect themselves from falling victim to such crimes? 

  1. Use digital biometric security whenever possible
  2. Keep your identity card, drivers licence, and passport in a secure place. Don’t leave them lying around
  3. Try to limit giving out too many personal details on social media platforms, or alternatively ensure that the correct security and permissions are in place and activated
  4. Never give out personal details, passwords, or pins, over the phone or via email
  5. When shopping online, only do so on a secure website
  6. Always request your emailed bank statements to be encrypted
  7. Don’t open email attachments that you do not recognise
  8. Never give out an OTP (One Time Pin) number over the phone or via email
Edited by Jenna Delport
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