There has been a lot of debate lately as to whether mobile banking and payments are more than just hype, with cynics purporting that consumer adoption will not take off. While consumers may not be rushing to get their hands on the latest banking app (yet),
there is no doubt that a step change in consumer behaviour is taking place.
This is evident in the 360,000 downloads of Lloyds TSB’s newest banking app just one month after its launch! Add to that the finding that 14% of US banking customers use mobile devices to access their banking services – which from past experience suggests
this trend will soon transpire in the UK – then the consumer appetite for mobile banking is certainly alive and kicking.
Meanwhile, in the payments space, PayPal recently revealed that its UK customers perform an average of five transactions per month via their mobile phones, leading to the prediction that mobile retail sales will hit the £2.5 billion mark by 2016. All these
figures show that consumer adoption is taking off – and this is only the beginning.
The fact is, with the ubiquity of smartphones – 70% of all mobile phones sold in the UK in the three months to September were smartphones – the way that consumers think and behave has changed considerably.
Consumers are becoming used to being connected at all times and the ability to ‘do’, ‘find’ and ‘buy’ at the click of a button. As a result, they expect instant access to information and services and the ability to act on impulse through the one common device
they all carry in their bags or pockets. While common misconceptions around mobile security remain, increasingly security concerns are no longer acting as a deterrent to the use of mobile financial services as consumers look for this type of convenience in
all walks of life. Starbucks can vouch for that – it recently announced that it processed more than 20 million mobile payment transactions this year.
So while security is paramount and must be taken seriously , this should not stop banks and other financial services providers from going to market. As illustrated through the findings above, offering instant access to finances on the move will drive customer
acquisition, retention and brand loyalty.
With a whole generation of digital natives waiting in the wings, ready to choose their banking providers, a lack of mobile banking services could be a reason to write off some providers. We may not yet be at the tipping point when it comes to mobile banking
but there is no doubt that consumers have already gone mobile and that this point is on the horizon. Listening to the cynics will only mean playing catch-up while others stay ahead of the game.