by Amy Vale
Remember the day when you had to physically go into a bank to transfer funds between accounts or make a payment? What about the days when you had to go home or to the office to use the computer to get a transaction history?
We all know by now that the mobile space is hot, and mobile banking has enjoyed basking in the heat. Twenty of the top fifty financial institutions in the U.S. had already implemented mobile banking by 2008. In 2009, this number grew by 25%. By January 2010 the growth seemed to have slowed down. Surprisingly, not all banks today have jumped onto the mobile bandwagon. Considering the data now emerging, we have to wonder why some banks and financial institutions are not embracing the mobile market, not least because it is the way we seem to be moving forward.
According to The Lafferty Group, a consulting company that does banking research, by the year 2029 most banking transactions are going to be done on a mobile device. This is an astounding finding! What’s more, is that a new survey from ING DIRECT found that nearly half of Canadian and U.S smartphone users (49%) expect to do banking from their mobile device in the next 12 to 24 months, and this number grows to 64% when looking at the younger population, those aged 18 to 34. What we are seeing is that the younger generation is leading the way forward with mobile banking and the growth of the mobile space in general.
Overall, the adoption of mobile banking is a great thing for customers. Having the ability to perform most important banking functions while sitting outside with a take out coffee and your mobile in your pocket, especially important tasks such as getting an instant balance inquiries or transaction history, two key ways to avoid overdrafts and prevent fraud. It's also easy to understand why banks are fans of mobile banking. Not only is it a way to appeal to a younger demographic, who don’t want to have to visit the bank, but it also means less customer traffic in the branches, allowing banks to cut costs and keep fewer branches open.
So, for those banks that are mobilized, what is working and why? According to MM&T, some 66% of those people who have done mobile banking in the last 12 months have used their bank’s mobile app, compared to 34% who simply use their smartphone browser to reach the bank’s website. Apps are the way to go. Citibank has even gone a step further, having created three separate mobile apps; one for iPhone and iPad, another for iPod Touch, BlackBerry and Palm smartphones, and a third one for the other kinds of basic cell phones.
The mobile banking boom points further to the fact that we live in a time where convenience at your finger tips (literally) is now a requirement. Not just banks, but all retailers and publishers must see that the mobile world is huge and is only getting bigger and bigger.