Absa Bank has successfully implemented its antivirus software for cellphone banking, with more than 3 000 users having downloaded the free software in the two months since its launch. 

Christo Vrey, Absa group GM: Digital Channels, comments:  “When Absa launched the free antivirus software in August this year, we were the first banking company to take such a firm stand to protect our customers against unwarranted virus attacks and bugs on their cellphones.
“This was directly in line with the aggressive stance we took on behalf of our Internet banking clients a number of years ago. They have enjoyed access to free PC-Cillin antivirus software for all their online banking activities for more than four years – and we are committed to providing this antivirus software free to our Internet banking clients for another year.”
The PC-Cillin Mobile Security Software from Trend Micro, offered in partnership with SecureData, protects clients from security attacks when using mobile phones for banking.
This initiative is part of Absa’s full-value banking offering which provides its customers with secure, convenient and accessible banking.
“Absa accepts its responsibility to ensure that, as far as possible, our clients’ information is safe and secure when they make any sort of financial transaction, either via the internet or a mobile device. However, we also need to educate our clients to acknowledge that they too are responsible for their own personal or company banking activities, and to take extreme precautions to safeguard their personal information, bank account details, logon and PIN codes, and their money,” comments Vrey.
“Analysts predict that data-centric mobile devices will become the next major target for malware attacks and therefore Absa has taken the proactive step to assist our customers to safeguard against such attacks,” says Vrey.
“The Trend Micro Mobile Security application can protect Smartphones and wireless handheld devices against threats such as viruses, worms, Trojans and both SMS and MMS text message spam.”
Currently, the cellphone antivirus software can only be downloaded through the antivirus centre on the Absa Internet banking homepage. However, downloads directly from a WAP-enabled mobile phone will become available during 2008.
The software is simple to download and install, but can only be initiated by registered Absa cellphone banking users.  It is valid for 365 days from the date of the download.