Mobile banking users to soar

Mobile banking users will reach almost a billion within four years and will complete 62 billion transactions in 2012, according to a survey carried out by IMS Research.

Mobile banking users will reach almost a billion within four years and will complete 62 billion transactions in 2012, according to a survey carried out by IMS Research.

The combination of contactless mobile payments, mobile banking and over-the-air payments will push the number of mobile banking users to 884 million in 2012.

The research said the growth is being fuelled by adoption in developing countries where mobile is often the only way to access financial services due to a lack of banking and fixed communications infrastructures.

"This contrasts strongly with more developed markets where mobile is an alternative but personalised means of access," the survey report said.

The survey said that firms such as Vodafone, AT&T are adding to the growing momentum around mobile financial services.

"The early seeds sown by a handful of companies have started to grow and now serious backing is being provided by both the financial and operator communities", said John Devlin, research director at IMS Research. "Service growth to date is already strong and taking off across a number of markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. When coupled with the growing volume of rollouts and service launches in Europe and the Americas, the number of new users nearly tripled in 2007."

Juniper Research predicts said in April that 816 million consumers will use mobile devices for banking services by 2011 which is 10 times the 2007 figure.

The Juniper Research report said issues such as financial regulation, payment transaction costs, revenue sharing and customer support difficulties will have to be addressed.

Banks can expand business and hold off competition through cross border money-transfer services supported by mobile phones, according to a Gartner report entitled Mobile Phone Money Transfer Services: Compliance is a Bank's Best Friend.

The analyst firm said working in partnership with mobile operators, banks can build new revenue streams through mobile phone-based international payment services. It said that banks have a good understanding of international financial regulations which makes them ideal partners for the mobile operators.

Banks have an advantage in setting up cross border mobile payments because they have a good understanding of international financial regulations, said Christophe Uzureau, principal research analyst at Gartner.




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