Analyst group JupiterResearch has found that despite renewed efforts on the part of financial institutions, overall interest in mobile banking services is limited.
The research comes as major US banks, including Bank of America, Citibank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo, prepare to market a new generation of mobile banking applications for customers.
Yet, according to JupiterResearch, just eight percent of online consumers who own a cell phone are interested in using mobile browsing to check account balances.
Asaf Buchner, a JupiterResearch analyst says the current buzz around mobile banking is fueled by financial institutions’ desire to expand their customer relationships to the mobile channel, rather than consumer demand.
"Banks have to identify potential early adopters and educate these customers about the value of mobile services," he says.
According to the study, when developing mobile strategies, banks should consider the availability of mobile technologies (SMS, mobile browsing and client application) as well as the characteristics of mobile interactions.
David Schatsky, president of JupiterResearch, says banks should not offer mobile services that aim to mirror or duplicate the online experience. "Online banking brought consumers the convenience of banking anytime. Mobile banking can add an anywhere element, but banks should identify where such ubiquity is crucial."
The study identifies younger consumers as potential early adopters of the services. Other interested demographics include consumers who are already using mobile browsing as well as 'under-banked' consumers who might even not be banking online.
The issue of consumer interest in the mobile banking channel was first raised in this Finextra Community blog
posting last month.