Visible to the public TWC: Small: Evaluating and Improving Security in Emerging Branchless Banking SystemsConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Performance Period

Oct 01, 2015 - Sep 30, 2018


University of Florida

Award Number

Branchless banking brings much-needed financial services to the unbanked in both the developing and developed worlds. Leveraging ubiquitous cellular networks, these services are now being deployed as smart phone apps, providing an electronic payment infrastructure where alternatives such as credit cards generally do not exist. Over 30% of the GDP in many such nations can now be attributed to branchless banking applications, many of which now perform more transactions per month than traditional payment processors including PayPal. Although widely marketed as a more secure option to cash, these applications are generally not subject to the traditional regulations applied in the financial sector, leaving doubt as to the veracity of such claims. Accordingly, very little is known about the technical security of this revolution in financial services, let alone how it will interact with the financial infrastructure of the developed world.

This project is conducting the first in-depth security analysis of branchless banking applications and their emerging web interfaces. The project is evaluating the current state of security in such systems and developing financial applications with stronger security characteristics.