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M-banking taken up by 30% of mobile users - survey

06 August 2010  |  10116 views  |  2 Fingers on smartphone keypad

Nearly a third of mobile phone owners now use their handsets to access banking services, according to a global survey from vendor Sybase 365.

The firm, which polled over 4100 mobile phone users, says 30% of respondents use m-banking, with 24% accessing services through their handsets on at least a weekly basis.

This level of adoption far exceeds industry expectations says Sybase, citing its own poll of financial services professionals in 2008 which predicted penetration of just 16% this year.

Of those using m-banking services, 88% check accounts through their phone, 54% receive transaction updates and 56% have paid a bill or card payment.

Over a third of respondents also say they would be prepared to pay for more sophisticated services and 44% would consider swapping their financial institution for free m-banking.

Asked what services they want, 75% opt for reports on potentially fraudulent behaviour, 69% are interested in balance enquiries, 65% want to be able to freeze a card and 59% are tempted by the ability to make transactions.

A third of respondents are interested in paying for goods and services using their mobile, and there is a willingness to pay for such convenience - with entertainment and utilities services scoring best. Around a quarter want to be able to send money overseas through their phone, with the median amount sent $18.

Matthew Talbot, VP, m-commerce, Sybase 365, says: "As mobile devices become more sophisticated and mobile banking gains traction, at a far higher rate than industry experts predicted, there is a clear opportunity for mobile to become a primary CRM channel for many services and industries; as the consumer desire highlighted in this report suggests."

Comments: (2)

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon | 06 August, 2010, 14:49

Therein lies the danger of questionaires and surveys, combined with reporting of statistics.  Its like asking a music fan if they like 'rock music' - its a leading question and the answer is going to be yes, regardless of how often they listen to rock.

Look and ask around you - who is genuinely using their mobile for banking operations?  Weekly? 

Don't get me wrong - I support m-banking and m-commerce, but lets get real with the numbers.  A survey may be better than my gut feel, but I wouldn't model a service based on 30% adoption and 1 transaction a week.

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Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto | 06 August, 2010, 16:06

John, I agree 30% seems high but the methodology used is actually pretty good compared to most of the rubbish we get sent.

Here's the detail:

• The research was conducted in sixteen countries using an online methodology.
• The sample source in all cases was an online research panel, maintained by one of our trusted international suppliers. The panel chooses people to participate in the surveys to ensure a representative spread of respondents. The participants are not self-selecting, but selected by the panel to participate based on creating a representative sample. In this case, we screened on mobile phone usage, meaning that the sample was a "quota" sample - only mobile users could take part. Therefore the survey went out to a representative sample within that country, excluding non-mobile users. (And, by definition, non-internet users.)
• At least 250 mobile phone users participated in the survey in each country.
• Overall the survey was completed by just over 4,100 mobile users.
• The countries in the survey were United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, South Africa, Mexico, United States, Argentina, Canada, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia

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