Mobile Banking Users to Exceed 150M Worldwide by 2011

February 17, 2009

The number of worldwide mobile phone subscribers in developed markets who use their phones for mobile banking transactions* will exceed 150 million globally by 2011, according to a new study by Juniper Research.

Findings from the Juniper Research report, “Mobile Banking: Strategies, Applications and Markets 2008-2013” indicate that the mobile banking market is currently most advanced in the Far East, but that growing numbers of mobile banking services are being offered in North America and Western Europe.

The developed nations of the Far East, North America and Western Europe are forecast to account for more than 70% of the user base by 2011.

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Mobile Delivery Integral to Bank Strategy

Growth of the mobile internet continues to play a large part in the adoption of on-the-go banking and will be key to banks’ business strategies in the years to come, according to the report.

“Transactional or ‘push’ mobile banking is being offered increasingly by banks via downloadable applications or the mobile web, complementing existing SMS messaging services for balance and simple information enquiries,” said Howard Wilcox, author of the report. “Mobile banking is a key element in banks’ distribution channel strategies as they compete to attract and retain customers.”

Convenince is Key

The research also finds that extra user convenience as a key benefit to mobile banking.

“The mobile phone is the device that people – especially Generation Y – will not leave home without,” Wilcox said. “Mobile banking is an addition to the wide choice of applications and services that they can access through their handsets to make life easier, especially via smart phones such as the iPhone.”

Regulations, Security Future Issues

The report identifies several major issues that will need to be addressed by the mobile banking industry in order to continue to foster market development. These include financial regulations – which vary from country to country, application slickness, and security.

“Whatever the reality of the strength of the security, it is the perception and image in the mind of the user that dictates whether they will trust the service,” said Wilcox.

* These figures refer to additive banking which is focused on developed markets rather than transformational banking. Additive banking adds further choices or distribution channels for banks to serve their customers or make the banking experience more convenient for existing customers, while transformational banking is about extending banking services to customers who cannot be reached profitably with traditional branch-based financial services. Typically, transformational banking services exploit the ubiquity of the mobile phone and are more focused on developing countries.

About the research: The report provides an analysis of the trends and issues affecting the mobile banking market and provides forecasts of user take-up, user-level messaging traffic, user-level transaction volumes and gross transaction values for “push” mobile banking information services, and “pull” transactional banking services. The report also presents the strategies of 15 key vendors and 12 mobile banking services pioneering in this developing market.

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