Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The mobile banking "take off or not" dilemma

When I was much younger I learned to fly hang gliders. (That is why I still have three stainless steel bolts in my right shoulder). The interesting thing about hang gliders is that they stall at about 40 km/h. This means that if you are taking off into a headwind of say 20km/h it is absolutely important to run as fast as you can when going over the edge of the cliff. This will give you the best chance of actually flying. When you are tentative about getting airborne, you increase your risk of crashing.

That is why I cringe when I hear banks talking of trying out mobile banking to see if it will work, or "the jury is still out if people will use mobile banking". If banks deploy mobile banking half-heartedly, it will fail. This is called self-fulfilling prophecies. What product ever in a consumer market space today work and receives massive take-up if not properly supported by co-ordinated marketing and sales efforts? One way to guarantee the failure of a mobile banking deployment is to go to the market tentatively.

We at Fundamo have helped our clients deploy many different mobile banking initiatives. Yes we have seen some fail and this have taught us valuable lessons. We have also seen some be successful in dramatic ways. The single most consistent factor in all the success stories have been commitment and determination to make it work. If you want to fly, run like hell...

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