Payment news, March 2

Mobile banking expands in Asia, while payment security is improved in India and at the Bank of Taiwan.

195 million mobile banking users predicted in Asia

The majority of mobile banking subscribers in the world are located in Asia-Pacific, with India leading the way, according to a recent survey by market intelligence firm ABI Research. The firm found that last year there were 52.2 million mobile banking subscribers globally with the "lion's share" in Asia, said Mark Beccue, ABI Research senior analyst. He predicts that, by 2015, Asia-Pacific will account for 195 million of the 407 million mobile banking subscribers.

Beccue defines mobile banking this way: "A bank must be involved in the equation. Other financial services, particularly mobile person-to-person payments provided by mobile operators that do not involve a bank, are not counted in our number as mobile banking customers." The firm expects the number of global users will double this year.

Unisys and Bank of Taiwan continue alliance

US-based information technology global services provider Unisys announced that the Bank of Taiwan has signed a new two-year contract to extend the provider's core banking system to its seven overseas branches in order to be in compliance with Taiwan's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation. Scott Whyman, vice-president of Unisys Asia, said that detecting and preventing money-laundering activities are essential tasks in banking today.

The contract will also allow the Bank of Taiwan to improve technology services provided to its overseas branches and customers.

RBI updates cash security and processing measures

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made two announcements last week regarding security measures associated with cash handling and cheque forms. The central bank's High Level Group advised the institution to set up Cash Processing Centres (CPCs) throughout India to reduce overnight cash risks at individual bank branches. The centres will improve the ability of individual branches to deal with high denominations of notes while the enhanced processing and storage capabilities strengthen the RBI's existing clean-note policy.

In addition, another central bank working group decided that the bank must implement the CTS-2010 standard for the enhancement of security features on cheques. The aim is to homogenise the differentiated cheque forms currently in circulation in India and thus improve security during clearing. More than half of the payments in India are currently made using cheques or other paper-based means.

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