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A mobile app that gives a new experience in trading

Intro: HDFC Securities has introduced a new app based on IBM MobileFirst platform that facilitates its customers to trade while on the move as well as perform other tasks

HDFC Securities has recently launched a new mobile app that allows its trading clients to securely trade stocks, track and manage portfolios and market movements, as well as analyze industry research and trends. Using IBM MobileFirst platform, the new app enables the company to offer more advanced stock trading features and capabilities, and better engage with investors in an increasingly competitive space. The platform actually allows the app development partner to create a set of apps for multiple devices and operating systems in a secure environment. HDFC Securities in the first IBM MobileFirst platform stock trading customer in India to go live with a publicly downloadable app, which can be integrated with core business processes and backend data system to allow the company to efficiently manage user data in real time.

“The app provides all trading functionalities and allows clients to trade in equities and derivative segments. It enables users to analyze industry research and trends as well. Some of the salient features are real-time streaming of quotes, graphs, multiple watch-lists, to name a few,” says Vivek Joshi, CTO, HDFC Securities.

“The realtime quotes and charts provide up-to-date information on scrip price movement, thus enabling customers to take quick and instant decisions, based on market movement. Clients can also view their demat balances online,” adds Joshi.

Core To Mobile Strategy

He maintains that trading apps are core to the company’s mobile enterprise strategy, helping its clients to seamlessly access their account status and trade from anywhere, at any time. “We chose to work with IBM to quickly deliver our services via mobile devices and provide a richer, more engaging trading experience,” he added.

The MobileFirst solutions portfolio provides key elements of an application and data platform with the management, security and analytics needed for the enterprise, explains Hitesh Shah, director, Software Segment, IBM India. “In addition to meeting mobile specific requirements, the portfolio provides for rapid integration between social and cloud services as well as back-end servers where the data resides. In order to quickly create secure enterprise and consumer apps, organizations are looking for ways to simplify the development process. To help clients do this, the platform provides solutions to cost-effectively build native, web and hybrid applications and integrate those applications with data that resides in back end servers or in the cloud,” he says.

Compatibility

Joshi says that the apps are compatible with Android (Android version jellybean and above) phones, tablet devices, and iPhone and iPad (iOS version 6 and above) devices. No specific configuration is required except the OS version compatibility.

Research calls, that is, fundamental calls, derivative calls, intra-day calls and research reports are available to customers of HDFC Securities using the app. The new app allows customers to trade from anywhere, without dependency on PCs with internet connectivity. “Hence, customers can trade even while on-the-move, which means, they will not lose an opportunity just because they are away from their workplace. Moreover, the app is simple and intuitive; there has not been a need for any handholding,” adds Joshi.

Customers can create up to 5 watchlists, says Joshi, each with 30 scrips. Scrips can be added directly in each watchlist or they can be tagged into one from the get quote screen within the app.

Will the screen size of the mobile handsets pose any challenges?

“The app design is based on adaptive technology, which means, it fits on all smart phone screen sizes automatically. Hence, the screen sizes of mobile handsets do not pose any challenges to users,” says Joshi.

Enterprise Mobility

Shah explains that as enterprise mobility is gathering steam, forward-looking enterprises and early movers across many industries are adopting mobile technology to drive enhanced customer satisfaction, employee productivity and newer revenue models. “The retail sector, in particular, has been revolutionized by the rising use of smart phones. For many, the memory of waiting in line to check out or get help is passe. With e-commerce making up a greater share of the retail sector, internet users are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access their favorite stores in the palms of their hands,” says he.

Shah lists out its applications: In the telecommunications industry, bill payment, account reviews, service subscription , customer self service are the key drivers; in the travel and hospitality industry, customers are empowered to take charge of corporate tasks, such as booking airline flights and checking in using mobile passes and tickets; in healthcare, mobile apps enable patients to make clinical appointments, tracks lab reports, order prescription works and also monitor key health paramaters, which are shared with medical practitioners; in insurance industry, organizations enable customer to do policy servicing over mobile apps, thereby ensuring that claims are settled on time, renewals done without lapses, overall enhancing the customer experience; and in capital markets, custom apps for wealth management ensure that portfolio managers are able to provide realtime updates to customers, thereby increasing the volume of trade and customer involvement.

Security Features

What about security concerns while using the app?

Shah ventures a response: “As mobile technology proliferates, so does the potential security risk. Not only to the user’s personal data, but with the growing use of mobile devices connecting to corporate networks, there is risk to corporate data as well. Security remains a top concern for organizations when embracing mobile computing. IBM MobileFirst Security offers the software and services that help organizations proactively reduce the security risk to enterprise applications. Now, clients can build security into the initial design of mobile applications so that vulnerabilities can be detected early in the development process, before being deployed to customers or employees. MobileFirst Platform provides ability to address Man-in–the middle attacks, Code Obfuscation, Jail break, sensitive information getting stored in device memory, vulnerability to poodle attack, etc. In addition, there are dedicated security solutions like AppScan – application scanning to identify vulnerabilities and threats, which is supported on both iOS and Andriod and Trusteer, which helps protect organizations and their customers against financial fraud and advanced threats.”

Shah also highlights that the platform caters to both customer facing and enterprise facing mobile applications. These include enterprise app store for private distribution, a secure API interface for connecting with backend systems, ability to do direct update of the mobile application version – without the user having to go to the app store and guarantee that the mobile apps functions in the absence of data network and seamlessly transfer once connected.

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