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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 11 December, 2012, 15:28Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Maybe I've misunderstood it but much of this article seems to be about mobile payments, not mobile banking. I was recently talking to a customer living in Santa Clara and working in Mountain View, the absolute technology Meccas of the world. In the last 2 years, he says he hasn't seen even 10 instances of the use of mobile payments in supermarkets. So, the poor uptake of mobile payments is not restricted to India.

Talking of mobile banking, most offerings currently view it as a mobile variant of Internet Banking. People don't do banking so often that they really need a mobile appendage for it. More than anything else, this explains the low adoption of mobile banking. I expect mobile banking adoption to soar if it exploits camera, microphone, GPS, accelerometer and other powerful features of a smartphone to deliver use cases that are not possible on PC-based Internet Banking e.g. Mobile RDC.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 December, 2012, 02:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi KS, thanks for reading through and commenting on the same. I was stating India as an example, and my generic statement which I made is that mobile payments has not taken off in the way which was projected it would do, reasons being various.

Secondly, even in internet banking there are 2 main functionalities which a person does (in common internet banking applications) Inquiries and payments (through the bank's portal). Offcourse another is paying outside the portal in B2C transactions. I am talking about both as a part of mobile banking in my blog, as the line is thin - because in B2C payments, many a time the user logs finally into the bank's portal through a payment gateway to make the payment.

Any way which ever way we look at it, the expectation has not being realized in either banking or payments transactions using mobile devices.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 December, 2012, 06:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If, by B2C payments, you're referring to consumer to business payments in the biller-direct model, only if the consumer chooses "NetBanking Transfer" as the method of payment does the bank's portal enter the picture. Many people - including me - choose card payment and never log on to the bank's portal. While there's no universally-agreed rigorous definition of mobile payment v. mobile banking, I don't think C2B Card or NetBanking transactions of the above nature would qualify as either mobile payment or mobile banking. On the other hand, if a consumer accesses a bank via mobile web or native mobile app and makes a P2P or bill payment, that could qualify as both mobile payment and mobile banking.

Judging success of a service like mobile banking also requires certain realistic baselines: 15 years after Amazon pioneered ecommerce, online sales only accounts for 5-7% of retail sales in the USA. While this is a tiny %, people still think ecommerce is successful.

The real debate arises when the digerati claim death of the store or bank branch when moden digital channels, while quite successful by themselves, are nowhere near uprooting the traditional physical channel.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 December, 2012, 06:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi KS, thanks again. Valid observations. Specially agree branches would always be there, but what they do would become a little different as channels starts doing some of the things which they do now. This has happened over the last 15 years, and will continue to do so. As you rightly said mobile banking/ payments would become THE THING as and when the actual convergence happens across technologies and apps, and we get that we can do more with a mobile than with a PC. Thanks again for the insights provided by you.