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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Mobile Internet users shy away from banking - IBM

Despite growing interest among consumers in accessing the Internet through their mobile phone, most people still prefer to use a PC when it comes to banking, according to a survey commissioned by IBM.

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Mobile Payments and Balances - Not Banking For Now

It isn't hard to see why customers prefer to do their banking and bill-paying using a PC, rather than a mobile. Well it is hard to see, and that's the problem. Those tiny little mobile screens aren't in the race for the bigscreen financial view. Who would want to make a mistake or stress out about all those numbers? Why bother? The perception that there is 'too much in the phone' might add to the reticence.

I would, however, use my mobile to check my balance, or pay for something, even a bill, if it was made safer and easier, and it can be a whole lot of both.

I don't know why customers are prepared to internet bank, considering the reported hazards, it would seem more logical to make the banking process require both the phone and the PC. I know the old SMS thing sort of does that, but it is far from easy and not all that safe.

Perhaps when trust is improved and your whizz-bang mobile can do something as simple as display on the nearest big screen securely, then the mobile might dominate banking. Until then I'd suggest a combination of  both, keeping well within each's capabilites, rather than relying on snake-oil and fantasy, to make it safe, secure and private. A little thought for the consumer having to carry out the process doesn't go astray either.

Right now payments, balances and even online transactions can all succeed on the mobile and internet banking can be secured with the mobile. What's the problem?

It should be easy, but not too easy for the criminals. It isn't yet.

Imagine if you could lose your mobile, buy a new one and be calling and transacting again in minutes, without having to learn or remember anything new, or even contacting your bank, safe in the knowledge that the stolen phone was of no use to anyone?

Everything is possible - it's the 21st century remember - it's going to be great.


Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 October, 2008, 10:27Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The size of a mobile screen is a big concern of mobile banking customers. Fortunatelly it is growing each year, today a 320x240 resolution on a palm-size screen is normal.

However, mobile banking applications should be very simple (one-page screens, no scrolling) and use big fonts to be readable enough.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 October, 2008, 17:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Very simple. Balance, make a purchase, pay a bill.

Would you do your tax return on the smallet screen in the house?

I suspect even paper is still ahead of the mobile on that one for a while.

I'm the world's biggest fan of using the mobile for everything - but it's important to realise it's present limitations.

Add to that first line - identify yourself, vote, pay for parking, buy a ticket, give someone permission for something, send/receive funds (except from your mutual - that's evaporated).

Perhaps mobile internet will be one of the first luxuries consumers decide to let go. The mobile itself wil be one of the last. Cable and telco fees will begin falling as fast as subscribers downsize their plans and usage. Less video, more chat and VOIP. How long before the internet starts shutting down at this rate?

I wish the 'powers-that-be' (soon 'used-to-be')  had acted on earlier warnings.

Too little too late. And to think I spent all those years assuming they actually had some vague idea of what they were doing.

Live and learn. It turns out I was actually right about e-con-o-mists and market analysts all along. Mostly bull-%&#*. The clues were there in the names all along.

We're in for some changes. Some will be good.

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