Internet banking may be quite common nowadays, at least among people who use the internet. But, somehow, m-banking or mobile banking hasn't quite caught on even as there has been an explosive growth in the number of people using mobile phones in general. All this is about to change, according to a report published by Juniper Research.
This report, titled Mobile Financial Services: Banking & Payment Markets 2007-2011, predicts that the number of consumers using mobile banking in 2011 would be as many as 816 million, 10 times the number who have availed of such services in 2007. The numbers of global mobile banking transactions will increase from 2.7 billion in 2007 to 37 billion by 2011 as more services are deployed, the report said.
The report found that financial institutions are delivering an increasing variety of products in the mobile environment including financial information services, funds transfer, bill payment and presentation, account management and customer service.
It adds that increased consumer confidence, due to the enhanced security measures that are being utilised in mobile financial services will be crucial to greater service usage levels. Additionally, the increasing use of smartphones and always-on wireless connectivity will make it easier for customers to connect to banking services while on the move.
However, the report warned that a number of obstacles would hinder service deployment and user adoption and need to be overcome. These include financial regulation, payment transaction costs, revenue share issues and customer support difficulties.
Security will be a major bugbear, as it has been for Internet banking. Tellingly, a recent survey showed that more than half of Americans do not want to use their mobiles for financial transactions.
The report found that China and surrounding areas would have the greatest number of people using mobile banking services, followed by Western Europe and India and surrounding countries.
Other salient features of the report include the prediction that financial information services will be the most popular banking product offered via the mobile, and that worldwide average financial transaction values are expected to nearly double in this period, even quadruple in emerging markets.