Mobile banking on the rise

Analysts predict that increasing levels of transactions conducted via mobile will lead to a 'gold rush' for the financial service industry.

Mobile operators and banks will see a 'gold rush' toward delivering financial services on mobile phones in the next three years, a new analyst report has predicted.

The report, 'Mobile Financial Services: Banking & payment markets 2007-2011,' by telecoms analyst Juniper Research said this trend will result in just over 612 million mobile phone users generating over $587 billion (295 billion) worth of financial transactions by the end of the period.

Juniper said mobile financial services are being deployed in a manner that is similar to the 'gold rush' of the 1990s when internet banking services were rapidly deployed.

It suggested mobile will provide a 'fourth screen' with which to interface with financial service customers, or "the ATM in your pocket," giving mobile phone users the freedom to bank and to make payments on the move.

The report said this channel had enormous potential when used as a tool for financial services and that its predictions was only just at the beginning of a journey that is likely to revolutionise the sector in a similar manner that the automated telling machine (ATM) did for the banking and cash business and which in contrast took some twenty years to fully develop.

It said Mobile Financial Services (MFS) fall into two distinct areas: mobile banking and mobile payments. The latter is predicted to generate almost $22 billon (11 billion) in transactions by 2011 and be adopted by 204 million mobile phone users to enable, for example, migrant workers to send funds back to their family at home from overseas or commuters to for travel around the London tube system.

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