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The number of users of mobile banking worldwide is expected to double to a billion over the next few years.

The forecast, from Juniper Research, says that the billion uses will represent about 15% of the mobile device user base, but that around half of all mobile subscribers, almost all of them in the developing world, do not have a bank account and have only limited access to traditional financial services.

The report finds that many consumers are already seeing the benefits of accessing banking services on their mobile phones. “Mobile banking technology is proven and currently available in most regions of the world,” says report author Nitin Bhas. “It isi reinforced by exceptional consumer demand, especially within the developed regions.”

The Juniper report, “Mobile Banking: Handset and Tablet Market Strategies 2013-2017”, finds that most banks have at least one mobile banking offering, either via messaging, mobile browser or an app-based service. And a number of the larger banks are now confidently deploying two or more of these technologies together, particularly where there is significant smartphone and tablet penetration.

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“From the banks’ perspective the triple play platform is advantageous as it avoids them having to switch suppliers for different approaches as well as maximising client reach,” says Bhas. “While messaging remains highly popular and relevant in the financial sector, apps will be the dominant access mode in developed markets with banks reporting an increased number of visits per month on their mobile apps.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • The ability to access banking information and make transactions on the move – “whenever you want” and “wherever you are” is a compelling proposition to most banking customers.

  • Transactional mobile (”pull”) banking usage will reflect similar growth rates to mobile banking information services (“push”).
  • The developed markets of Asia Pacific (especially China), North America and Western Europe will have the highest penetration of users in 2017.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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