Yodlee.com is about to launch screen scraping - a new kind of content aggregation - into the European market for mobile commerce. However, the risks associated with the approach may outweigh the benefits.
Screen scraping allows a content aggregation company, such as Yodlee.com, to visit a number of its partners' financial accounts to obtain whatever information the client requires. The consumer can then phone the aggregator to request whatever financial information is required.
But financial institutions have no idea their databases are being canvassed, creating doubts over who is held responsible if something goes wrong, such as incorrect information being given to the consumer or, worse, fraudulent use of the consumer's account taking place.
British Bankers Association director Chris Rawlins warned, "User names, pin numbers and passwords are issued to consumers on a confidential basis for their own personal use. No bank would ever advise people to reveal their password to a third party. If anything went wrong as a result of a customer revealing passwords to a third party, the customer would be 100% responsible."