In its latest research report, Swedish market research firm, Berg Insight, says the worldwide use of mobile banking and related services is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 89.0 percent to reach the 913 million users in 2014.
Berg also says that mobile banking is also anticipated to play a key role in bringing financial services to people in the Middle East and Africa, while in Europe and North America, the technology will mainly serve as an extension of existing online banks as mobile handsets become more widely used for Internet access.
By 2014, Berg Insight forecasts that mobile banking will attract 110 million users in Europe and 80 million users in North America.
Berg’s Telecom Analyst Marcus Persson, says “mobile handsets are in an excellent position to become the primary digital channel for providers of banking and related financial services on emerging markets.
“People who sign up for their first mobile subscription today will likely open their first bank account in the coming years and thus join the modern financial system.”
Persson says mobile operators can play a vital role in this development and “will have the opportunity to take an active part in the creation of some of tomorrow’s most important financial institutions based in Asia and Africa.”
Besides traditional retail banking, the report also identifies international money transfer as a potential revenue source for mobile industry players, with a forecast that 5–20 percent of the international money transfers currently handled by various formal or informal agent networks will be carried out using a mobile handset by 2014, generating US$170–680 million in service revenues.