Mobile banking set to soar in US - report

Mobile banking set to soar in US - report

The number of US customers using mobile banking services is set to surge in the next few years and will rise from 1.6 million in 2007 to 35 million by year-end 2010, according to Boston-based research consultancy Aite Group.

The number of customers taking up mobile banking will jump from 1.6 million in 2007 to 9.5 million in 2008, according to the research. The number is set to double in 2009 to 21.1 million users before hitting 35 million users in 2010.

Aite says after largely failing in 2001 the time is now right for banks to press ahead with the delivery of new mobile banking services.

The study, which profiles vendors in the mobile banking space - including Clairmail, Firethorn, Fronde Anywhere, Fundamo, mFoundry, MShift, Paybox and Yodlee - found that mobile handsets and the speed and bandwidth of wireless networks are now capable of enabling mobile banking without the hurdles previously encountered.

Nick Holland, senior analyst at Aite Group, says: "It is likely that enough water has passed under the bridge for first-generation mobile banking initiatives to be seen as distinctly separate from current-generation solutions (as they should be). Today's mobile banking services are as far removed from their ancestors as MP3s are from eight-tracks."

A number of US banks - including Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo - have launched mobile banking services to customers recently.

A study released by analyst house Celent in May also predicted growth in mobile banking. However both the Aite study and Celent research contrast sharply with analysis released by JupiterResearch earlier this year which found that despite renewed efforts by banks, consumer interest in mobile banking remains limited.

The JupiterResearch found that just eight percent of online consumers who own a mobile phone are interested in using their hand sets to access account balances.

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