Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn goes mobile

App gains 700-plus subscriptions since September launch; users can trade round-the-clock

mobile app - Getty.jpg
Smartphone app: a selection of Autobahn features are available on mobile, such as volume and market stress indicators

Deutsche Bank’s app-based platform Autobahn launched a mobile version in September, allowing users to trade on their smartphones round-the-clock.

The mobile application has gained more than 700 subscriptions across iOS and Android since its launch, says Lee Merchant, global FX co-head, Asia-Pacific at Deutsche Bank.

A selection of Autobahn features are currently available on the mobile version, such as volume and market stress indicators, while more functions will be released over time. 

The mobile application is part of Deutsche Bank’s next-generation initiative to upgrade e-FX trading, along with a Google-like interface for clients called Pandora.

“It is really a solution to any client that has a need for agile access to markets, liquidity information and content,” says Merchant, explaining why the single-dealer platform (SDP) is going mobile. 

“Clients have a need to train or access market information any time when exchange markets are open, and this could be due to business travel or time with family,” says Merchant. “FX, as we know is a 24-hour market, and being able to respond to events throughout the day is paramount to their success.”

Features currently available on the mobile version include: Market Colour, FX Spot & Outright, FX Swap Grid, FX Order Monitor and FX Trade Blotter.

The most popular features are the volume and market stress indicators, Merchant says. The latter are determined according to a statistical measure designed by Deutsche, which aims to identify unusually strong short-term directional movements that can retrack, such as a flash crash. Users are alerted to stress events when there is a substantial move in a selected currency pair.

It is much easier to authenticate people so they are who they say they are
Keith Hill, Caplin Systems

One concern when developing the mobile version of Autobahn was how to authenticate trades. Deutsche Bank uses two-factor authentication to make sure the trades are from authorised users. For the mobile Autobahn, this means both a password and biometric information are needed to access the app. 

“If the phone is lost or stolen, the application cannot just be activated without those biometric security checks,” says Merchant.

More advanced security

The banking industry is applying more advanced security designs, says Keith Hill, advisory board member at financial trading technology firm Caplin Systems. 

“Authentication is much better now than it used to be, with far more widespread fingerprint recognition, voice recognition and facial recognition, plus two-factor authentication, with a code sent to a different device,” says Hill. “It is much easier to authenticate people so they are who they say they are.” 

Hill says many other banks are looking at mobile solutions too.

“A lot of banks want to make sure their shopfront for clients is fit for purpose, is modern, and shows that bank’s full range of capabilities,” he says. “So, when banks talk about implementing a new SDP, it could be many different parts, such as re-engineering elements of the core infrastructure, which is updating some of the engine work behind the platform or user interface redesign.”

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