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Updated Below (by Nikhil Pahwa)

Four companies –Volantis, Wipro, Reliance Money and Religare Technova – have tied up to offer m-trading of stocks through a mobile trading portal – RMoney.Mobi. The application can be downloaded for free and is available for both CDMA and GSM, the release said. Any existing Reliance Money user can login to trade in equity and commodity shares right from her handset.

Update: Portal, not an application

We were initially told that this is a mobile application, to be downloaded by texting MARKETS to 6636, which did not work. Reliance Money now informs that this is essentially a web based portal. (Clarification on Security and Regulatory issues below)

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Wipro designed and developed the application, Religare Technova integrated it to Reliance Money’s trading engine and Volantis’ device database ensures that any mobile, even those yet to be launched, will support the application.

Other mobile services by Reliance Money include the SMS subscription plan, delivering real time updates on stocks in commodities and equities via SMS, and an application that can be downloaded onto your mobile to bring latest news and stock quotes.

The Security Challenge

If convenience is its biggest advantage, security is a bigger challenge. How will Reliance Money assure investors of the safety of crucial trading data? What if a mobile handset with the application gets stolen? The Reserve Bank of India addressed some security issues and set transaction limits for the mobile; we’re wondering if that has any impact on trading via the mobile phone, and whether there are any regulations that govern this segment.

Update: Regulatory and Security Issues

A Reliance Money spokesperson has sent us the following clarification regarding regulatory and security issues by email, which we are publishing verbatim:

Security

Reliance Money is the only company to offer its customers a security toke, which acts as a 3rd level password.  This VSACO Digipass GO 3 token is a 3DES encrypted one touch button device that generates a new 6 digit number once every 32 secs.  The Vasco Token authentication server is integrated with trading platform.  The customer is first validated through token authentication and then with password authentication.  The token and the token server work on time synchronization. Due to synchronized system clocks they generate the same number at any instant even though they are two separate devices.  User id, token Id and password are mapped for a trading customer with the trading client id.

Regulatory approvals

We have gone through a long regulatory process.  We explained how we were just adapting our existing online platform to the mobile screen.  All the same risk management, security systems etc will apply to this automatically.  We are not creating an independent platform for mobiles.  The regulatory authorities have told us, that since this is not a new platform, no separate approval is required.  The payment also happens through a bank gateway approved by RBI and not through the mobile phone per se, hence this is also not a problem.