SMS bankingCyclos offers a complete SMS banking module and proved to be a real breakthrough for branchless banking projects that use Cyclos. Historically SMS messaging was not considered a serious candidate for banking services, but with the improvements of technologies over the last years, like encryption and faster delivery times, many banks have have adopted SMS messaging for mobile banking services. The structure of the SMS module is very flexible and can deployed in different ways, according to the project requirements. For example, it could run as a stand alone service on a laptop together with Cyclos, and connected to mobile phone that serves as SMS gateway. Or it could be deployed in an enterprise environment with the objective to offer high service availability and be able to process very large volumes of concurrent users.
Supported SMS operations
- Banking: users can perform operations such as payments, payment requests, retrieving account and payment details.
- Register: users can register with an SMS (without the need of Internet access).
- Alerts & Notifications: users can enable automatic notifications such as 'received payments' and 'low balance' alerts.
- SMS mailings: administrators and agents can send individual and group SMS mailings from Cyclos (online web).
- Info texts: users can send SMS with specific keywords. The message will be responded directly with an SMS with a corresponding (info) texts. The info texts can be managed by administrators online
- Routing to channels: the SMS modules allows rerouting operations to other channels. For example, payment requests can be sent and managed online in Cyclos. The users will receive a payment request by SMS which they can confirm with a reply.
The diagram on the right gives an overview of the mobile banking architecture. For more information please go to the wiki architecture page.
In order to give a demo of the Cyclos SMS module a simulation program is included. For a working preview of the SMS simulation, click here. The SMS simulator connects to the SMS controller software in the same way as a mobile phone operator or SMS gateway provider does. The Simulation is therefore a good tool to test an operational configuration (before contracting an SMS gateway service).
Mobile banking architecture
The SMS module consists of a SMS Controller and a SMS Driver that can run as separate programs or as a single application. The SMS module is written in JAVA and can run on the same Tomcat server as Cyclos does, but for larger systems we do not recommend this.
The SMS controller connects to Cyclos through its web services and processes all the SMS messages. It uses the SMS driver to communicate with a (physically attached) modem or an SMS Gateway provider (GSP).
Because of this architecture the Cyclos SMS module can be used for very large projects, with a large amount of transactions per minute. And by small (mostly rural) projects, running all the software on a single computer using a simple SMS modem (or even mobile phone) with an unlimited SMS plan.
The Cyclos SMS module is published open source and can be downloaded for free with no cost, please go to our download page.
A complete installation guide and specification of the SMS module can be found in the cyclos wiki (see sms module). Other question can be answered in the cyclos forum (there is a seperate section for the SMS module), be aware that this is a user to user forum.
Note: Information about other mobile banking channels can be found the Mobile banking page.