Monday, May 16, 2011

Ultimately, banks will lead mobile banking

What does the statistics say about banks dominating mobile banking or carriers doing it? In some of the early mover countries; like Kenya and the Philippines, the answer is clear: mobile operators have stolen the initiative and it is unlikely that it will be changed. In other markets, this does not seem to be the trend.

In a recent study produced by TNS some interesting findings are presented. In South Africa, for instance, the findings seem to indicate a massive penetration by banks (Read here). Banks like FNB and ABSA have grown very large subscriber bases and have shown much bigger adoption than what the carriers were able to achieve. (Read here). In the same study significant growth in the take-up of mobile banking subscribers were also reported in China, Brazil, the US and UK. (Read here). Similarly, in a study produced by Mercatus LLC (Read here), significant growth that can already be measured in mobile banking will increase to cover half the mobile phone subscribers by 2015. This is a sentiment that is shared by many experts in the market. In very few cases are the same projections made for mobile operators.

If we were to believe these projections, then banks will own the mobile banking domain in the future. It will not be conquered by mobile operators, even if banks do not do anything. And this is where predictions like the above is the most dangerous; because it will definitely not materialise if banks do not make it happen.

1 comment:

Hazel McHugh said...

I think ultimately, banks will have to make it happen or risk losing their customers.

Once people have the choice to use other services for payments, self-select when it comes to making investment decisions and get financial advice from social networking forums what will make a customer interact with a bank / respond to cross sales etc. etc.

Banks definitely need to wake up. I hear the concerns about compliance etc. it's rare that a channel comes along that can increase satisfaction and lower costs yet remains under utilised. I posted on this myself a month or so ago: