Mobile Banking

Mobile Banking

The global retail banking industry is now in a period of innovative commitment to the branch, arguably not seen since the early 1990s. This quiet revolution is dealing with a more broadly-based agenda than just branch design, and is focusing on creating more customerorientated experiences and greater retail banking profitability.

From a mobile banking perspective, this is of course bad news, so I tried to get a bit more information on why a report could come to such a conclusion. I did not want to pay such a big price-tag just to find why these analysts see a different world that I do, so I used the information available for free. I could find no reference in the Contents page on how the evaluation was done to get to such a conclusion - now survey, no relative profitable measurements, nothing that could make one make such a statement.

I saw that the report refers to many case studies (predominantly in the UK and the US - not the markets where branchless banking is expected to be big), but did see reference to a case study in India (where, I presume "the branch is back"). The case study is for a bank called YES bank, which when you do a Google Search returns the following.

A new study covering Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK found that an average of six percent of people over the age of 16 currently use m-banking services. According to the study, nine percent of adults living in Spain signed up to m-banking services, while Germany had the lowest number of users in the study with 4 percent.

The adoption of m-banking should increase rapidly in major European markets over the next few years, from an average of 6 percent today to 25 percent in France, UK, Italy and Spain and to 20 percent in Germany, according to the survey research and advisory firm Celent.
Researchers say that thanks to mobile technology improvements and mobile phone adoption rates in Europe, banks are now able to offer a wide range of added value mobile banking services. European banks have already anticipated the dissolution of adoption barriers and have launched various mobile banking services mainly using the WAP and SMS technologies, researchers say. Nonetheless, only a few downloadable applications have been successful, mainly in the UK and in Germany.

At present, French and Spanish banks are offering a broader range of mobile services, followed by the Italian banks. However, there are still many differences between the countries regarding the number and type of mobile service offered, according to the study. Information services and SMS services are the most popular at the European level. The increase in the number of people using web-based m-banking services will be the result of growing use of mobile Internet services, the study suggests. In this context, the share of internet mobile banking users in Western Europe will increase from 5 percent to 18 percent in 2010, researchers predict. The study concludes that customer adoption of m-banking services is still blocked by security and technological issues, the cost of mobile Internet, as well as by a general lack of awareness of the services.


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