Join the webinar on 'How to Inspect Browsers Hosted on the HeadSpin Platform from a Local Machine' on June 27th.
11 Best Practices for Future-proofing Mobile Banking Security Testing Amidst Economic Downturn

11 Best Practices for Future-proofing Mobile Banking Security Testing

February 17, 2023
Kazuaki MatsuoKazuaki Matsuo
Kazuaki Matsuo


Mobile apps have become ubiquitous in our daily lives, with financial transactions and personal information relying heavily on them. However, the rise of cyber threats has put the security of these apps into question, especially for the BFSI industry, which heavily relies on mobile banking apps. This makes mobile banking security testing even more crucial for developers to prioritize. Regular banking application testing can detect and mitigate vulnerabilities, save time and costs, help comply with security standards and regulations like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, etc., and ultimately protect against cyberattacks while driving business growth even during the economic downturn.

In this blog, we discuss the various aspects of confidentiality security and its role in protecting mobile banking applications against data breaches.

Check out: 10 Steps for Testing Mobile App Security

Why Is Safeguarding Mobile Banking Apps from Vulnerabilities Crucial?

Mobile banking apps' vulnerabilities can be attributed to one of the five groups listed below.

Design Flaws

Errors in design and weak implementation of security during development can lead to security breaches. For instance, poor session management in a mobile application can lead to cookie manipulation, thereby bypassing authentication. This highlights the need for effective software testing in financial services.

Errors in Application Deployment

Insufficiently planned installation of the application by the customer and lack of knowledge of computer infrastructure can result in errors, such as debug accounts/passwords not being deleted and version control errors. Therefore, an efficient banking application testing strategy is essential to identify and prevent such errors.

Also check: 5 Testing Strategies for Improving App Release Cycles

Coding Gaffes

Coding errors can compromise application functionality and lead to unintended actions. Vulnerabilities arise from buffer overflows, format string errors, and race conditions. Coding errors are the most frequent cause of vulnerabilities, as highlighted in various publications. A proper mobile banking security testing method aids in the detection and prevention of coding errors.

Connect to our real local devices worldwide and run geolocation tests on your mobile apps and websites. Know more.

Faulty Communication

Mobile apps must connect to external sources like NFC, Bluetooth devices, servers, authorization mechanisms, and authentication tokens to function fully. However, this communication can expose sensitive data and pose a security risk. Banking application testing is crucial to address these security vulnerabilities.

Inadequate QC and Application Testing

Security vulnerabilities can't only be addressed in final testing. Banking application testing must include security considerations throughout the process. Regular testing should cover both everyday scenarios and potential attack scenarios.

Read: Why end-to-end testing is crucial for banking apps

What Are the Most Prominent Fraud Cases in Mobile Banking?

Fake bank

Mobile banking security researchers detect and prevent app-based Trojans, malware, fake banking apps, phishing attacks, and brute force attacks that affect mobile banking apps. One such spyware, FakeBank, copies verification codes sent to customers by the bank and sends them to hackers.

App-based Trojans

Mobile banking fraud includes app-based trojans, often found in downloaded tools or games from unofficial sources. Trojans can spring to life when a banking app is launched, creating a pop-up overlay on the login page. The deployment of proper software testing in financial services strategy can help prevent these types of attacks.

Also read: 5 Tips for Testing Mobile Banking Apps


A senior malware analyst at Kaspersky, Roman Unuchek, found a new version of the mobile banking trojan, Svpeng. It's a dangerous malware that can hide behind other apps and carry out financial transactions, access contacts, make calls, and gain administrator rights.

11 Security Tactics for Ensuring Robust Banking App Testing

Although there are valid security concerns with online banking, mobile banking is way more secure than web banking due to the closed nature of phone operating systems compared to computers. The rapid growth in popularity of mobile banking, fueled by the current economic recession and people's desire for a more hands-on approach to managing their finances, requires unparalleled security for mobile banking apps.

Remotely test and debug mobile, web, audio and video applications on thousands of devices around the world. Learn more.

Here are some banking application security practices to ensure the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of mobile banking apps while keeping the app testing budget in check during the global recession:

1. Multi-factor Authentication

To ensure security, more than a single password submission for accessing a customer's bank account is required. Implementing a multi-factor or two-factor authentication process is advisable to enhance mobile banking security. This can include the use of generated one-time passwords or biometric authentication methods like fingerprints, which add an extra layer of protection and reduce the risk of deception. Regular mobile banking security testing should also be performed to ensure effective security measures.

Check: Automating Biometric Authentication in iOS

2. NFC Inserted Sim Cards

NFC-embedded SIM cards allow the secure downloading of credit card data from mobile banking applications into the card. To secure mobile banking transactions, using an NFC-embedded SIM card not only safeguards account information but also reduces the risk of data compromise and offers easy access to the banking application. Regular banking application testing is crucial to ensure transactions and data security.

3. End-to-end Encryption

In digital transactions, two parties are always involved - the sender and the receiver. This occurs frequently in everyday transactions through mobile apps or financial payment gateways, with key players being customers, retailers, payment brands, issuing banks, etc. Billions of dollars worth of confidential data are exchanged daily, making internet purchases a target for cybercriminals.

Also check: Automating Biometric Authentication in Android

To protect consumers, businesses must encrypt the transaction. End-to-end encryption provides secure data transfer and stability and is responsible for conducting safety checks and surveys. This is an essential aspect of software testing in financial services to protect businesses from fraud and unethical behavior.

4. Fingerprinting Device

Fingerprinting devices enhance security in mobile banking apps by collecting signals such as IP address, device type, and location. Working with experienced mobile app developers to incorporate a fingerprinting feature or compatibility with specific devices is advisable. Regular mobile banking security testing is necessary to validate the effectiveness of these measures.

Automating biometric testing with HeadSpin's SDK delivers efficient testing, along with optimized user experience during authentication. The SDK further enables thorough testing of the TouchID and FaceID fingerprint and facial recognition features, providing confidence in the robustness of these important security measures.

5. Direct Text and Email Notifications

A mobile banking app provides customers with convenient access to text messages and email, and its real-time notification feature enables instant notification of transactions. For instance, customers receive an SMS whenever their card is swiped, allowing them to quickly detect any unauthorized activity and take action to prevent fraud. 

On-the-spot notifications enable users to monitor their accounts and promptly respond to potential security threats. To ensure the reliability of these security features, a proper banking application testing method is necessary.

Read: A Comprehensive Guide to Mobile Application Security Testing

6. Detailed Analysis of Customer Behavior

Specialized software is available for monitoring and analyzing consumers' banking login locations and online account activities. This technology can detect potential errors, abnormal behavior, or unauthorized access in a mobile banking app, triggering further investigation. This investigation may take the form of an email or text alert to the customer or a call from the bank to confirm any suspicious activity. Effective banking application testing helps ensure these security measures' accuracy and reliability.

7. Paperless Banking

The banking sector, like many others, has been transformed by technological advancements. Digitalization has made paperless banking possible, increasing transparency and efficiency in managing bank accounts and transactions. With the majority of files now stored digitally, access to them is easier from anywhere. In this context, banks are seeking mobile banking security testing solution providers that seamlessly offer custom-made, high-security enterprise mobile solutions.

Also read: A complete guide to user experience testing

8. Use of Authorized APIs

The use of unauthorized APIs in mobile banking apps can create security risks, granting hackers access to sensitive information. For example, locally caching authorization information may make it easier for programmers to reuse API calls, but it also leaves the door open for attackers to exploit. To protect the security of your mobile banking app, experts recommend using only authorized APIs that are centrally managed for optimal security. By following this mobile banking app security tactic, you can ensure the safety and privacy of your customer's sensitive financial information.

9. Data Breach

To protect personal and business information, it is crucial to conduct thorough software testing in financial services. A data breach can expose sensitive information, making it essential to develop secure mobile banking applications. With ready access to sensitive information such as passwords and account numbers, it is crucial to prioritize security in developing these applications.

Check out: A Guide on How to Use HS Tunnel

10. Compliance with PSD2 Regulations

The PSD2 regulations tackle banking security issues such as reverse engineering and fund theft. They provide robust protection against fraud, improve digital security, and promote the use of digital documents. PSD2 supports the growth of open banking and enhanced online security, enabling stakeholders such as FinTechs, corporations, and clients to collaborate with banks for improved security. The regulations prioritize improved online protection for consumers, enhancing their overall experience with online payments.

11. Employ Secure Access

Effective mobile banking security testing is crucial in ensuring customer information is protected from theft and fraud. Using secure internet connections and technologies like HTTPS enhances security during mobile transactions. Financial institutions must balance convenience with security risks to ensure their customers a secure mobile banking experience.

Also check: Improving customer experience through localization testing

Strengthening Mobile Banking App Security In BFSI Through HeadSpin's Advanced App Testing Capabilities

Software testing in financial services is crucial for ensuring the smooth and secure functioning of mobile banking applications. HeadSpin offers a testing solution for the BFSI industry that helps financial companies to streamline their application development process. With its end-to-end testing capabilities, HeadSpin's solution can help improve the performance of banking applications and meet the growing demands of the mobile banking world.

Discover the power of HeadSpin's AI-powered testing solution and its ability to enhance the security of mobile banking apps for BFSI companies.

1. Multiple Deployment Models

HeadSpin offers multiple deployment models for mobile banking security testing, including on-prem, single-tenant cloud, multi-tenant cloud, and custom lab options. This allows financial companies to securely store and analyze test data during system migrations for improved operational efficiency.

2. Biometric Authentication

HeadSpin's Biometric SDK automates biometric tests, captures user experience, and thoroughly tests facial recognition and fingerprint features like TouchID and FaceID. It streamlines testing, saves time, and provides insights into biometric authentication performance, ensuring secure and reliable biometric authentication for users.

3. Secured Testing Platform

HeadSpin Platform is SOC 2-compliant, undergoing security assessments and certified in passive reconnaissance, automated vulnerability scanning, and manual testing by a third-party validator. This ensures top-notch mobile banking security testing for financial organizations.

4. Global Testing

HeadSpin's global device infrastructure facilitates end-to-end testing on real devices in over 90+ locations worldwide, helping BFSI companies maintain operational consistency.

The Next Steps

Rapid technological advancements have revolutionized the banking sector by bringing banking services to our fingertips through mobile banking. However, this convenience has also increased the risk of cybercrimes and data theft. To address these concerns, the banking industry has invested in effective mobile banking security testing practices, making financial companies capable of mitigating cyber-attack risks and providing a secure platform for their customers.

Enhancing security features with the help of a renowned mobile banking app’s security testing solution provider will not only improve the overall user experience but also build trust and confidence among customers in the digital banking ecosystem.

Elevate your mobile banking security with HeadSpin's top-notch banking application testing solution!

Book a free trial


Q1. What security challenges does mobile banking pose?

Ans: The security application at the server must verify the user via password or PIN, enabling the customer to conduct transactions. However, this method raises security concerns such as server failure, system crashes, and malicious intrusion.

Q2. What characterizes effective security in banking?


Marketability: The security should be readily marketable.

Ascertain ability: The value of security should be easily determined.

Stability of Value: The security should not experience wide price fluctuations.

Storability: The security should be easily stored.

Q3. What are the advantages of mobile banking security?

Ans: Mobile Banking is touted as more secure and less risky than Internet Banking. Through Mobile Banking, users can transfer funds, pay bills, check account balances, view recent transactions, and even block their ATM cards. These capabilities make it a convenient and secure option for managing finances.

11 Best Practices for Future-proofing Mobile Banking Security Testing

4 Parts


Perfect Digital Experiences with Data Science Capabilities

Utilize HeadSpin's advanced capabilities to proactively improve performance and launch apps with confidence
popup image