Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Upside for Banking Services on Mobile Phones

According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, over 1 billion mobile phone users will have made use of their mobile devices for banking purposes by the end of 2017, compared to just over 590 million this year.

While their forecast represents over 15 percent of the mobile subscriber base in 2017, around half of all mobile phone service subscribers remain un-banked -- meaning, these are people with limited access to traditional financial services.

The findings from the Juniper study suggest that many consumers are already seeing the benefits of accessing banking services on their mobile phones.

Mobile banking technology is proven and currently available in most regions of the world, reinforced by exceptional consumer demand, especially within the developed regions.

Juniper also found that most banks have at least one mobile banking offering -- either via messaging, mobile browser or a software app-based service.

Yet a number of the larger banks are now confidently deploying two or more of these technologies together -- particularly where there is significant smartphone and media tablet penetration.

"From the bank's perspective the triple play platform is advantageous as it avoids them having to switch suppliers for different approaches as well as maximizing client reach," said Nitin Bhas, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

While basic messaging remains highly popular and relevant in the financial sector, mobile software apps will likely be the dominant access mode in developed markets.

In fact, banks are already reporting an increased number of visits per month on their mobile apps.

The upside opportunity for significant new growth will likely lead to the introduction on more enhanced smartphone apps that offer an increasing array of new offerings.

Other key findings from the market study include:
  • The ability to access banking information and make transactions whilst on the move ‘whenever you want’ and ‘wherever you are’ is a compelling proposition to most banking customers.
  • The Juniper report provides the relative proportion of mobile banking users accessing information services (“push”) and transactional banking services (“pull”).
  • Transactional mBanking usage will reflect similar growth rates to mobile banking information service.
  • The developed markets of Far East & China, North America and Western Europe will have the highest penetration of users in 2017.