The number of people accessing banking services via their mobile phones is set to soar to 816 million by 2011 - a ten fold increase on 2007, according to a global study by analyst house Juniper Research.
Juniper predicts the number of mobile banking transactions will also jump, from 2.7 billion in 2007 to 37 billion in 2011. The average value of payments made via handsets will nearly double by 2011 and quadruple in emerging markets.
The report found banks are offering an increasing number of services via handsets, including financial information services, funds transfer, bill payment and presentation, account management and customer service. This growing range of options, combined with increased consumer confidence, due to enhanced security measures, is crucial to rapid uptake, says Juniper.
The report predicts the greatest number of mobile banking users will be in China and the Far East, followed by Western Europe and the Indian sub-continent.
But despite the growth forecasts, Juniper warns that major hurdles to service deployment and user adoption still have to be overcome, including financial regulation, transaction costs, revenue share issues and customer support difficulties.
A separate US study released by Harris Interactive last month found that security concerns are the biggest barrier to take-up of mobile banking services in the country, with the majority of customers - 66% - "apprehensive" about using their handsets to transmit financial information.
The Harris study also found that over half of Americans - 53% - have no interest in using their handsets for banking or commerce.