Crypto phone maker Sikur wants you to bank through your mobile carrier

By: Andrew Hoyle

The security-focused company is launching its own mobile banking platform, along with the Sikur Android app store at MWC.

The mobile banking revolution might be underway, but the trustworthiness of mobile banking applications still has a question mark hanging over it for many phone owners.

Maker of security-focused phones Sikur launched its own mobile banking platform on Tuesday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it hopes will change all that.

The platform is designed to combine all the user-friendly aspects of digital banking apps already on the market with premium security features. Sikur’s aim is to use its expertise in security to protect users from the weaknesses of payment apps and point-of-sale data breaches that have affected companies including Ticketmaster and British Airways.

In 2018, analysts from Juniper Research predicted that 2 billion people, or 40 percent of the global population, would be using mobile banking by the end of the year. This number incorporates people using digital tools provided by their own banks, but also those embracing new banking systems and tools such as Monzo, which has grown in popularity in the UK and may have a US launch on the cards soon.

“People are moving from the traditional banks and this kind of platform, so you can easily open your account and do all the transactions as you do in a regular and traditional bank,” Alexandre Vasconcelos, CEO of Sikur, said in an interview with CNET.

In the past, Sikur has focused solely on making its own devices, controlling both hardware and software to provide a totally locked-down experience for customers. At last year’s MWC, it unveiled its own “unhackable” phone with built-in cryptocurrency wallet. But in September 2018, Sikur showed that it could also equip other phones with the same levels of security when it loaded its SikurOS onto two Sony phones.