City Uni’s £135k mobile project


City University London has received £135,000 in funding from the Government’s UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

A team of the university’s informatics and engineering specialists will use the funding to undertake a three year project to develop new security measures for mobile banking.

The UKIERI aims to encourage research links between the UK and India.

The university’s researchers, led by Dr Rajarajan, assistant dean for E-Learning, is pioneering a new form of security software, which generates a personal code or “crypto key” for each user via their existing SIM card. The university claims it will produce the simplest and securest form of mobile banking authentication to date.

The technology is currently ready to be deployed in trials. The university is  seeking partners from across the industry to engage with.

It said its long term goal is to create a generic and open secure gateway, which could be used by all network operators or handset manufacturers to provide secure mobile services to customers.

Rajarajan said: “The GSM Association’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked initiative has set the global goal of bringing mobile financial services to 20 million people, who previously did not have bank accounts, by 2012. But security concerns and the complexity of many services will hamper adoption.

“With this new technology, we hope to overcome these barriers to entry and help both banks and mobile network operators to roll out secure and easy to use mobile banking services.”

The researchers have so far worked with banks in India and the UK to develop a prototype of the technology, and are also liaising with local government organisations to explore how the solution could be deployed in other mobile transaction applications, such as paying for parking and congestion charges.

Next, a feasibility study will be carried out by Warwick Business School and a cyber criminologist from the University of Leeds Law School will develop the necessary legal framework.