Mobile banking on the rise

New research predicts a ten-fold increase over the next few years in the number of consumers using mobile banking services.

Over 800 million consumers will be using mobile banking services by 2011, an analyst firm has predicted.

But the Juniper Research analysis was also quick to stress in its new report into the mobile financial services sector that key issues around service deployment will first have to be dealt with in order to facilitate such growth.

According to the report, Mobile Financial Services: Banking & Payment Markets 2007-2011, the annual number of global mobile banking transactions will increase ten-fold, from 2.7 billion in 2007 to 37 billion by 2011, as a greater number of services are deployed worldwide.

It also said that increased consumer confidence, due to the enhanced security measures that are being used in mobile financial services will be crucial to facilitating greater service usage levels.

It found that financial institutions are delivering an increasing variety of products in the mobile environment including financial information services, funds transfer, bill payment and presentation, account management and customer service.

But the service deployment and user adoption obstacles that the report said must be overcome to enable increased uptake of such services included those around financial regulation, payment transaction costs, revenue sharing issues and customer support difficulties.

Among the questions it said needs to be answered to support this growth area were the division of revenue for a mobile banking customer between its mobile operator and bank, as well as issues around electronic funds transfer regulations.

It said: Legislation has a strong role to play in how new mobile payment schemes will be developed. In the EU, for instance, any new payment scheme should be implemented in line with the EUs [European Unions] E-Money Directive.

The research also found China and the Far East region would have the greatest number of users of mobile banking services, followed by Western Europe and the Indian sub-continent.

And it added that this mobile banking growth should be seen in relief to predictions for average financial transaction values worldwide to nearly double over the period, fuelled particularly by four-fold growth in emerging markets.

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