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Online banking will be overtaken by mobile apps next year

The growing popularity of mobile banking apps has been highlighted with news that more consumers will use their apps than will use a computer for banking purposes as early as 2019.

According to industry analyst CACI, 22 million people last year managed their current account from their phone.

And it is now predicted that 35 million people, or 73% of the adult population in the UK, will by 2023 bank via a phone app.

This means that customers will now generally visit a bank branch just twice a year.

The biggest increase in mobile app users will be seen in smaller coastal towns and rural areas because of poor broadband access which means users navigate towards mobile networks.

In a report, CACI says: “Mobile is quickly becoming the digital channel of choice and replacing online banking for many customers.”

Steam’s plans for iPhone blocked by Apple

A bid by Steam to launch a new app for iPhones has been blocked by Apple.

Industry watchers say this is a sign that Apple is increasingly serious about its ability for taking a slice of digital purchases that are made inside games on mobile devices.

Steam was planning to use a free app for gamers to play on their mobile phones when away from the desktop.

Now, Apple has blacked blocked the Steam Link app with Steam saying they hope the firm will reconsider in the near future.

App for monitoring children leaks data

The TeenSafe phone monitoring app has been leaking thousands of Apple ID account logins, says ZDnet.

The popular app helps parents keep track of their children’s phone activity but tens of thousands of account details have been breached.

The app promotes itself as a secure monitoring offering available on iOS and Android to enable parents to check their children’s messages as well as their search and calling history. The app also keeps track of their location.

However, ZDNet says that the apps servers – which are hosted on Amazon’s Web Services cloud platform – have been left unprotected which gives anyone access to the user database without having to use a password.

TeenSafe says it’s now closed one of its servers and is now informing customers that may have been affected.

Mobile app fraud transactions rocket

The number of fraud transactions involving mobile apps has rocketed by 680% since 2015.

The figures come from RSA Security who say that while the number of mobile app transactions has risen by 200% over the same period, fraudulent activity has risen by a much larger amount.

The firm says it is only natural that hackers follow the sharp rise in legitimate app transactions and are targeting mobile channels for fraud purposes.

They say that businesses and consumers alike need to beware of potential fraud risks with their mobile phone apps.

In other mobile phone app news

Twitter has unveiled its range of new emojis to help Android users using their service as their outmoded emojis are not showing up properly online. The ‘Twemojis’ will now display as well as they do on Apple iPhones on Android devices.

A new mobile phone control lock called Klevio One will help estate and letting agents dispense with using keys to gain access to a property since owners can grant access remotely. The system uses electronic keys to give others access.

Warning Over Apps Leaking Personal Data

Internet security firm Kaspersky is warning that nearly four million smartphone apps are leaking sensitive data about the app’s user.

The data being lost includes phone numbers and email addresses which is being transmitted unencrypted over the HTTP protocol.

This was, researchers say, instead of using HTTPS, a more secure way for data communication.

The firm says that careless design means that a user’s data can be easily intercepted.

In the worst case scenario, they say this data could be used for blackmail purposes.

More Windows phone apps killed off

Microsoft has revealed that more apps for its Windows phone are to be killed off.

From May, support for Teams, Yammer and Skype for B usiness will be dropped.

Users have been told that they have a month to find alternative apps or use the functions using a web browser.

Yammer will still be available as an app for Android and iOS phones and the firm says it will still continue investing in Skype for Business as well as Microsoft teams.

Phones and apps are crucial for British job hunters

Nearly 90% of jobseekers in the UK looking for new jobs believe that their smart phone is crucial in the jobhunting process.

Research from Textlocal reveals that 89% of those questioned agreed with this sentiment and the firm says there’s been a 55% rise in people opting into recruitment communications.

The firm says that 45% of jobseekers are looking for new jobs on their mobile phones every day and 59% of those questioned us saving a potential job to apply for later.

Crypto crackdown questioned

Researchers say that despite Google’s best efforts to prevent any crypto currency apps being available on Play Store, there are still lots of these apps available.

TheNextWeb says that even after Google took action recently to clamp down on crypto currency apps, many are still available.

The research also highlight that there was a malicious app available, it mimics MyEtherWallet, and it received 500 downloads before Google took the app down.

As part of their research, the firm says that across the mobile phone app sector they uncovered 661 malicious apps and most of these appeared on Google play.

In other mobile phone app news …

Over the past year, around half of adults in the US have increased their use of mobile banking apps with one in three using their banking app more than any other app on their phone, a survey has revealed.

Swiss drugs firm Novartis has unveiled a mobile phone app that will collect data from those taking part in eye disease studies. The ‘FocalView’ app has been put together using Apple’s ResearchKit and will enable researchers to track eye disease progression from patients without them needing to visit a doctor.

The new Gmail app will feature the ‘snooze’ button, says Google. The function will resend emails when the user chooses – or when they can deal with the emails properly.

Research from Ofcom has revealed that nine in 10 Brits believe that using the Internet has more benefits than risks but nearly all are turned off by digital advertising. The average time spent online is 24 hours a week which has doubled from what it was 10 years ago. The research also highlights that using apps and smartphones is an important part of this growing popularity, with 74% of those aged under 24 saying they could not live without their phone.

Millions of Phones at Risk from App Mistake

Millions of smartphone users have been put at risk because of a simple coding error in 685 phone apps, warns security firm Appthority.

The mistake means that the user’s text messages and calls are at risk of being intercepted by hackers – particularly if app developers have used the Twilio Rest API or SDK platform.

Researchers say the developers have mistakenly coded credentials for accessing services, calls and texts by provided by Twilo Inc.

Apparently, hackers can access credentials by reviewing the app’s code to gain access to data sent via those services. The flaw has been dubbed ‘Eavesdropper’.

Among the affected apps are the AT&T Navigator, which is pre-installed on many Android phones and GPS navigation apps from Telenav though researchers say they have been careful not to name all of the affected apps – and Twilio’s users include Uber and Netflix.

Shares in Twilio fell by nearly 7% after the report from Appthority was published.

The end of paper receipts?

Mobile banking apps could see the end of paper receipts since a new app could see digital receipts being used instead.

Barclays Bank has now teamed-up with tech outfit Flux to trial its new Launchpad app with 10,000 customers.

The new app means there will be no longer receipts clogging up wallets because they will be stored digitally and be harder to lose; the digital receipt will also prove beneficial in finding a receipt should a purchase break or if there is a warranty issue.

However, for the new scheme to work effectively, retailers will need to use software that enables them to send their receipts digitally to customers.

Growing numbers of stores, including New Look and Topshop, are moving away from printed receipts already by emailing them to their customers instead.

With the new system, there’s no need to hand over email details since the Barclays pay machine will send a receipt directly to the customer’s mobile phone app.

In other mobile phone app news …

Smartphone users in the UK are increasingly comfortable sharing their device’s location with an app, compared with two years ago. Around 55% of phone users said they are comfortable doing so while 11% said they always allow their apps to access their location, says marketing firm Verve.

A new app for smartphones may help parents keep their children safe while on social media, particularly to help prevent them from sending explicit images, messages and personal details. The Oyoty app will run automatically to detect whether an image is showing too much flesh and will suggest a rethink before the child user sends it out.

The rise of tracking apps for plane flights has been revealed with the news that 230,000 people followed Priti Patel’s eight hour flight back to the UK before resigning from government. FlightRadar24 says the international secretary’s flight is now the most monitored ever.

Facebook says the UK is the first country outside of the US to get its Messenger payments service. Launched in 2015, the app is used to split restaurant bills and send money, among other uses, with most users sending £38 on average. Facebook says the UK has been chosen because there are so many ‘mobile savvy consumers’ in the country.