Mobile banking is on the rise and usage is expected to double in the next three years. Just the kick banks need to catch up with the times and start offering decent mobile services as standard.
Do you use your mobile for banking? If not, the latest figures reveal that you’re likely to be embracing it soon. That’s if your bank catches on to the trend.
Not convinced? Research by Juniper predicts that 400m people will use mobile banking globally by 2013. Or put simply, double the number of people using it today.
Figures not to be sniffed at, especially when you consider that 97% of 18-34 year-olds own a mobile.
Mobile services a bit of a lottery
So why does my bank (Smile, which I must admit is pretty acceptable in most other aspects) not offer specific mobile services? Being an internet bank, I’d expect it to be in the lead, but I’m left unable to complete simple transactions because I don’t have a decent phone.
Others are taking the opposite approach and putting mobile services way up the agenda. Over 80% of banks do offer some kind of mobile banking service, but standards vary, making it a bit of lottery.
Barclays deserves a special mention here. Having just completed its Banking for Billions report it concluded that banks can reduce costs by up to 50% by servicing customers through mobile devices rather than branches. They’re now happily ploughing more funds into improving their services. Makes sense.
Banking for everyone
And this leads us to the crux of the issue. A whopping 900,000 people in the UK don’t have access to simple financial products, such as current accounts, but nearly everyone owns a mobile. Mobile banking reduces banks’ costs. You do the maths.
Barclays agrees. “Mobile phones are one of many technologies now emerging that could give the financially excluded more effective methods to manage their money,” its report said.
This isn’t just about me having an extra choice about how I bank. It’s about many people being given a unique chance – right, even – to be able to bank.