Friday, 20 January 2012
Mobile Banking and the Mark of the Beast
Just thought I would post up a few interesting snippets concerning mobile banking on Wikipedia which I think highlight the true extent of the current and future application of this technology, and its relation to the mark of the Beast prophesied in Rev 13:
Mobile banking (also known as M-Banking, mbanking, SMS Banking) is a term used for performing balance checks, account transactions, payments, credit applications and other banking transactions through a mobile device such as a mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The earliest mobile banking services were offered over SMS. With the introduction of the first primitive smart phones with WAP support enabling the use of the mobile web in 1999, the first European banks started to offer mobile banking on this platform to their customers.
Mobile banking has until recently (2010) most often been performed via SMS or the Mobile Web. Apple's initial success with iPhone and the rapid growth of phones based on Google's Android (operating system) have led to increasing use of special client programs, called apps, downloaded to the mobile device...
The advent of the Internet has enabled new ways to conduct banking business, resulting in the creation of new institutions, such as online banks, online brokers and wealth managers. Such institutions still account for a tiny percentage of the industry.
Over the last few years, the mobile and wireless market has been one of the fastest growing markets in the world and it is still growing at a rapid pace. According to the GSM Association and Ovum, the number of mobile subscribers exceeded 2 billion in September 2005, and now (2009) exceeds 2.5 billion (of which more than 2 billion are GSM)...
Mobile banking will eventually allow users to make payments at the physical point of sale. "Mobile contactless payments” will make up 10% of the contactless market by 2010. Another study from 2010 by Berg Insight forecasts that the number of mobile banking users in the US will grow from 12 million in 2009 to 86 million in 2015. The same study also predicts that the European market will grow from 7 million mobile banking users in 2009 to 115 million users in 2015.
Many believe that mobile users have just started to fully utilize the data capabilities in their mobile phones. In Asian countries like India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines, where mobile infrastructure is comparatively better than the fixed-line infrastructure, and in European countries, where mobile phone penetration is very high (at least 80% of consumers use a mobile phone), mobile banking is likely to appeal even more...
Mobile banking is used in many parts of the world with little or no infrastructure, especially remote and rural areas. This aspect of mobile commerce is also popular in countries where most of their population is unbanked. In most of these places, banks can only be found in big cities, and customers have to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest bank.
In Iran, banks such as Parsian, Tejarat, Mellat, Saderat, Sepah, Edbi, and Bankmelli offer the service. Banco Industrial provides the service in Guatemala. Citizens of Mexico can access mobile banking with Omnilife, Bancomer and MPower Venture. Kenya's Safaricom (part of the Vodafone Group) has the M-Pesa Service, which is mainly used to transfer limited amounts of money, but increasingly used to pay utility bills as well. In 2009, Zain launched their own mobile money transfer business, known as ZAP, in Kenya and other African countries. In Somalia, the many telecom companies provide mobile banking, the most prominent being Hormuud Telecom and its ZAAD service.
Telenor Pakistan has also launched a mobile banking solution, in coordination with Taameer Bank, under the label Easy Paisa, which was begun in Q4 2009. Eko India Financial Services, the business correspondent of State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank, provides bank accounts, deposit, withdrawal and remittance services, micro-insurance, and micro-finance facilities to its customers (nearly 80% of whom are migrants or the unbanked section of the population) through mobile banking.
In a year of 2010, mobile banking users soared over 100 percent in Kenya, China, Brazil and USA with 200 percent, 150 percent, 110 percent and 100 percent respectively.
Dutch Bangla Bank launched the very first mobile banking service in Bangladesh on 31 March, 2011. This service is launched with ‘Agent’ and ‘Network’ support from mobile operators, Banglalink and Citycell. Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. has provided software solution with their local partner Neurosoft Technologies Ltd. There are around 160 million people in Bangladesh, of which, only 13 per cent have bank accounts. With this solution, Dutch-Bangla Bank can now reach out to the rural and unbanked population, of which, 45 per cent are mobile phone users...
(See the full article here)
The current expectations of futurist interpretations of the Book of Revelation concerning the mark of the Beast and RFID technology completely overlooks the origin of the imagery behind this passage. St. John quite obviously would have understood the material in his Apocalypse concerning the mark of the Beast to be a diabolic inversion of the Jewish practice of wearing phylacteries - which are box shaped objects worn externally on the person, and even then they are only used temporarily. A practice which has many parallels with the modern use of cell phones (see the earlier post The Mark of the Beast?). Implanting humans with RFID implants for commercial and identification purposes is not only logistically unfeasible, but also completely unnecessary. There is no need to insert a RFID microchip underneath a person's skin when it can be simply included in a device that is already carried around by the majority of the world's population. The current high penetration rate of mobile phone users in the Third World provides a ready-made infrastructure for banking.
India's ambitious census project to biometrically map each of its 1.2 billion inhabitants helps us gain an insight into another possible future use of such technologies (see here). As some commentators have suggested, biometrics presents the solution to the difficulties faced by NFC technology as the future of commerce (see here). People may soon be able to buy and sell produce through iris or fingerprint scans, combined with voice recognition technology as a means to address the security problems that are presented with using NFC technology alone. With the sole use of NFC technology, thieves could potentially have access to a person's entire banking system simply by stealing their cell phone. But biometric technology would completely bypass such concerns. The human iris and fingerprint cannot be replicated, and combined with voice recognition, this technology will completely replace the need for chip and pin numbers.
Of course this technology would only be able to be operated through devices such as cell phones, which have the potential to capture iris and finger imprints through in-built cameras, or voice recognition capabilities, such as that of the current I-phone. Given that all of this form of commerce will be conducted exclusively over the worldwide web, combined with the fact that the Hebrew letter waw is used as the numeral six, and is transliterated into the modern Latin alphabet as the letter w, this means that the acronym www is the numerical equivalent of six-six-six (see the earlier post Hebrew 666), means that in the future, no one will be able to "buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name." (Rev 13:17)
See also the related articles:
NFC Technology and the Mark of the Beast
Fr Gobbi on the Mark of the Beast
Gematria and the Number of the Beast
The Prophecy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
The Year of the Dragon