Adoption of mobile banking services exceeds expectations

Adoption of mobile banking services exceeds expectations

Matthew Talbot Sybase
Matthew Talbot, vice president mCommerce at Sybase 365

The latest research conducted by Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, shows that demand for mobile banking services has exceeded expert expectations.

Altogether, 30% of mobile users currently use banking services on their mobile handset, compared to the 16% prediction, and 24% access mobile banking on at least a weekly basis. The research finds a changed market from that surveyed in 2007, with consumers showing a greatly increased appetite for mobile services.

Conducted by mobile messaging services business, Sybase 365, the research surveyed over 4,100 mobile phone users across key global territories and found that the mobile phone market has matured significantly in the last three years. With consumers looking for more from their mobiles, 2010 looks set to be the year that mobile commerce capabilities come of age.

The main findings show how mobile phones have evolved from being simple telephone communication devices to increasingly becoming life management tools, entertainment systems and virtual wallets. Almost half of all mobile users use their handset to access the internet (48%) on a weekly basis, and 30%, globally, use mobile banking services. A further 70% of users have a real appetite for extra mobile services, such as mobile banking (39%).

European mobile banking has more than doubled in the past 18 months
Globally, the most used services include: checking their accounts (88%) and receiving transaction updates (54%); 56% paid a bill or card payment via their mobile phone; 35% of mobile bankers will pay for more sophisticated services; 44% would consider swapping banks for free mobile banking.

On which mobile banking services are deemed of most value to mobile users, globally: 75% would like to receive reports of potentially fraudulent behaviour; 69% are interested in balance enquiries; 65% would like to freeze a card; 59% are interested in being able to make transactions, paying a bill or a card from their mobile.

One third of respondents are interested in paying for goods and services using their mobile, and there is a willingness to pay for such convenience, with entertainment and utilities services scoring best.

A further 27% of respondents will send money overseas, although the research shows a huge range in the sum of money that individuals would consider sending via their mobile. The median amount sent via mobile phones is £18, whilst 3% of respondents would be prepared to send more than £500.

Matthew Talbot, vice president mCommerce at Sybase 365 said: “The challenge for businesses in 2010 will be to adapt their mobile offerings to meet this increased demand, and find ways to target their services at specific segments of their customer base. As mobile devices become more sophisticated and mobile banking gains traction, at a far higher rate than industry experts predicted, there is a clear opportunity for mobile to become a primary CRM channel for many services and industries; as the consumer desire highlighted in this report suggests.”

When comparing the regions, the Asian appetite for new services leads the way globally and users are more engaged with their mobiles than respondents in other countries. More Asian respondents (20%) are interested in additional services than the global average, and approximately 30% more Asian than European respondents are interested in mobile community updates (50% to 18%) and mobile banking (54% to 26%).

EMEA users show huge engagement with their mobiles and are using technologically advanced features. Altogether, 40% access the internet via their mobile on a weekly basis, and almost the same number send or receive email from their phone. They also show a great interest in new services, with at least a third willing to pay for each service. 

In the Americas, 39% of users like to deal with finances on the go. They are engaging with their mobiles and are willing to pay for content. They do, however, show lower than average interest in the idea of mobile banking (39% against the world average of 44%).

Sybase, an SAP company, is an industry leader in delivering enterprise and mobile software to manage, analyse and mobilise information.

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