It is difficult to find a person without a smartphone today even in a middle-income country. Software developers have taken full advantage of this and found a huge market for this rising population. In addition, the scope for development of mobile apps is much greater than that of desktop apps. It is because smartphones have a wider range of hardware options to work on.

People also want to make the most out of smartphones by using those handy apps and make life easier. Mobile banking is no exception to that. The days of visiting banks or ATM booths to withdraw cash or send money to others are over. Now we can easily carry out those tasks using mobile banking apps.

The popularity of mobile banking can be gauged with the fact that more than 22 million people in the UK currently use mobile banking applications which are expected to exceed 35 million by the year 2023 (over 70% of the total population). A lot of local and international banks have their own mobile banking apps with various facilities. Recently software giants like Google and Apple have come forward as payment providers. Nobody would doubt their popularity after observing the use of those apps worldwide.

However, the usage rates are quite below the expectations of those companies. The reasons are yet to be explored.

Introduction of cryptocurrency mobile banking

Cryptocurrency is a hot topic nowadays in many finance magazines. Mobile banking of this new form of currency has also found a diverse and flourishing market comprising both large and small companies. Taiwan based HTC can be named as a large firm that has introduced ‘Exodus 1’ phone. It has been rumored that the phone can be purchased with Bitcoin only.

Recently HTC has launched an upgrade known as ‘Exodus 1S’ that can run a full Bitcoin node. Samsung has also followed the path and it’s Galaxy S10 phone supports the crypto transaction. Still, there is a gap between crypto and fiat banking which a group of young developers is trying to bridge through mobile apps.

A new carded system going by the name “Plutus” might be the right solution which is set to launch this year. Danial Daychopan, the CEO of Plutus is highly ambitious about his solution and he believes that it will be a crypto-friendly alternative to conventional mobile banking. Plutus will not be bank per se but will be able to provide similar financial services including secured cryptocurrency transactions. However, Daychopan spotted several issues in cryptocurrency mobile banking that need to be addressed.

First of all, dealing with cryptocurrencies needs a great deal of knowledge and high-tech gadgets which is no good news for newcomers. Another problem is irrational fees. At present, there are very few providers that allow secure crypto exchanges at reasonable fees. Most of the providers charge around 4% with further hidden fees.

Lastly, and most importantly, many crypto banking firms fail to offer enough security measures to be trusted. There are instances of large scale crypto theft that occurred in the recent past. Considering all these issues Plutus wants to come up with a lucrative solution- “fee-less decentralized exchange into the finance app so our users can securely trade between crypto and fiat on-the-go”. They are also planning to offer blockchain-backed token rewards that are equivalent to 3% of every purchase amount.

More and more firms are stepping in

Flexa has introduced a mobile app that enables people to use their cryptocurrency. The app can be used to make payments at several reputed stores that accept crypto. The retailers that want to accept digital currencies (including Ether, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and the Gemini dollar) through Flexa have to install SPEDN mobile wallet app.

Currently, the app is available for selected merchants but the company will make it open in the app store next week. Customers can spend their cryptocurrencies by sending the supported coins to SPEDN wallet and scan the app’s barcode at the register. Flexa then adds the fund to the merchant’s account in US dollar instantly.

According to the Flexa CEO Tyler Spalding, SPEDN is the first example f decentralized international retail payments. Flexa is said to integrate existing merchant point-of-sale with blockchain technologies, thus eliminating the need of a point-of-sale upgrade for merchants and making payment settlement process easier and fraud-resistant.