Mobile Banking Set For Growth

Driven by the excellent opportunity provided by mobile banking to enhance existing customer services, nearly a third of the worlds largest financial organizations are planning to launch mobile banking services in the next 12 to 24 months. Thats one of the key findings of a recent survey commissioned by Sybase 365, a subsidiary of mobile messaging company Sybase.         
The survey, Mobile Banking: The Second Wave. Global Mobile Banking Survey 2008, was conducted by independent research company Loudhouse in February, among 92 of the worlds top financial institutions, including 32 European banks, 30 banks in the US, and 30 banks from the Asia-Pacific region.
Results revealed that 66% of banks consider mobile banking an excellent opportunity to enhance existing customer service. While provision of such services is considerably advanced in European and Asia-Pacific regions compared to the US, growth is projected to be strongest in the US with 53% of US banks surveyed expecting to launch mobile banking services within the next 24 months.
Key factors for financial institutions offering mobile banking are not solely commercial, such as reducing costs or generating revenue, says Matthew Talbot, Vice President, mCommerce for Sybase 365. Mobile banking provides unique opportunities for customer interaction and retention.       
Sybase 365 says this broadening momentum should be encouraging for the consumer respondents to its 2007 mobile banking survey, 33% of whom expressed a desire to manage  their finances on the move. A key element in increasing adoption, which is mirrored in the 2007 consumer study, is the level of awareness that customers have of mobile banking services. It appears that banks are responding to the lack of awareness felt by consumers, with 65% of the banks who currently offer mobile services stating that marketing budgets and activities to raise awareness are part of their strategic plan for 2008.
The most common mobile banking services currently available to customers include balance on demand (offered by 87% of banks with mobile banking services); transaction alerts (77%); money transfers (74%): and balance alerts (71%). Of those banks that offer such services, the top reasons for doing so are to improve the customer experience (87%); to extend Internet banking (81%), and to achieve competitive advantage (71%).