Mobile banking to reach half a billion users by 2013


Despite the challenging economic climate and threat of further global recession, a new report from Juniper Research finds that mobile banking users worldwide will reach 530 million by 2013, up from just over 300 million in 2011. Indeed, Juniper finds that mobile services are becoming a fundamental component of banks’ business strategies as they respond to the current financial crisis.

The report found that as banks migrate from traditional bricks-and-mortar approaches and seek competitive differentiation, m-banking offers an opportunity for all banks to improve operational efficiencies and customer retention and acquisition as a cost-effective communication channel.

As consumer smartphone adoption becomes more prevalent, m-banking will gain impetus particularly in Western markets, with consumers seeking tighter control on finances given uncertain economic conditions. Juniper observes that Financial Institutions are anticipating consumer demand by developing native smartphone and tablet applications for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. However, the report cautions that the most successful deployments adopt a triple-play solution utilising not only apps, but SMS and Browser-based delivery channels.

According to report author Sonia Lalli: ‘Mobile Banking will be one of the greatest success stories of the mobile commerce industry over the next five years, as consumers observe the benefits of accessing banking services on the move. As customers become comfortable with undertaking basic banking functions on their mobiles, an increasing number will adopt transactional-based banking enabled by the enhanced functionality afforded by smart devices, exposed to an all-immersive consumer experience.’

Other key findings from include:

  • MNOs and banks have a mutually beneficial opportunity to collaborate to improve customer acquisition and retention, whilst reducing operational costs;

  • Transactional m-banking usage will reflect similarly aggressive growth rates to SMS with over 550 million subscribers worldwide by the end of 2016;

  • The developed markets of North America, Western Europe and the Far East & China will have the highest penetration of users in 2016.