/ Money, Technology

Mobile banking needs a makeover

Old broken mobiles

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.

Bob says:
24 July 2010

Why do so many people want to do there private business over the air for anyone to hack into , ah so you think it is as safe as houses do you , then think on this we know at least three of our friends who have been caught out by the banks secure system & luck has been on there side as it has been re installed by the banks into there a/c , well what is wrong with that I hear you say but cannot you see the customer has always got to pay the loss NOT THE BANKS so do not in future complain about rising Bank Charges . We will go down fighting when the only way to deal with personal a/c’s has to be done that way , as then even Cash will be a thing of the past . We say what is our private business is our business & not to be accessible to one & all by the fault of us . it’s no wonder the world is in such a state .

Hannah, what about online banking makeovers?
My online banking is working, but it is rudimentary: All I want is pay my bills, and get statements that can flow into e.g., an xls file, allowing analyses and telling the taxman what is his due by the end of the financial year after some handling of the data.
Ideally, my account’s online banking should do my bookkeeping. I don’t think I am asking the impossible.
I can pay my bills online, yes, but my bank offers the statements only in pdf format, so I cannot process these data for digital bookkeeping.
For me, control and accumulative handling of the movements in (= data of) my account – with the comfort of the bigger laptop screen – are more important than fidgety work with a mobile.
Once online banking comes out of its teething age, I may find that mobile banking can offer me a comfort similar to what I desire from online banking.

I find my on-line banking brilliant – but I would not use a mobile to access it – far too insecure