The Korea Herald


Mobile trading soars amid network concerns

By 김주연

Published : May 18, 2011 - 19:12

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Korean bourse says it will tighten supervision of stock trades made on mobile devices

Stock trading through smartphones, tablet computers and other wireless devices is expected to exceed 150 trillion won ($138 billion) this year amid growing concerns about network security, market watchers said on Wednesday.

The Korea Exchange said the amount of stock trading done using wireless mobile devices topped 74.3 trillion as of Monday for this year alone, exceeding 80 percent of total from entire last year, 92.8 trillion won.

The new medium for financial transactions is more vulnerable to system failures and security attacks, mobile technicians said.

“We haven’t had a major accident that created losses in the wake of system failures and most professional traders still trade through home trading systems. It is a common understanding that wireless devices are at times unstable to trade money,” a KRX official said.

The bourse operator said it will tighten supervision of mobile trading platforms to prevent IT failures causing losses at investor’s end like the case of NH Investment & Securities from last year.

The home trading platform created by NH Investment & Securities was responsible for 70 percent of all complaints about system failures in 2010.

Security concerns are just as big.

Home trading systems is losing popularity although it still trades about 80 percent of stocks by transaction amount as of April. Trading amount through home trading systems totaled about 2.25 quadrillion won or $2.07 trillion in 2009 and declined to 1.97 quadrillion won the year after.

“The shrinking share of HTS transactions shows a slowdown in participation by individual investors,” the KRX official said.

Some security experts still say they cannot foresee mobile devices overtaking computer-based trading.

“Mobile devices still cannot display charts and other tolls due to the size of the screen and there are technical drawbacks due to unstable WiFi networks depending on where the user is,” a worker at the IT center of securities company said.

By Cynthia J. Kim (