Mobile Internet users shy away from banking - IBM

Mobile Internet users shy away from banking - IBM

Despite growing interest among consumers in accessing the Internet through their mobile phone, most people still prefer to use a PC when it comes to banking, according to a survey commissioned by IBM.

A poll of 600 people in the US, UK and China by NetReflector found that over 50% would substitute their Internet usage on a PC for a mobile device.

Respondents expect to use the Internet on their handsets for a raft of purposes, including obtaining maps and directions, instant messaging, social networking, e-mailing and reading the news.

But consumers are less convinced about using their phone for banking and trading stocks, with the majority preferring to carry out these activities on a PC.

IBM says the availability of IP wireless broadband and more affordable devices will inevitably change the way companies like banks operate and relate to their customers, but suggests that the opportunities for engagement are greater in emerging markets where the phone is leapfrogging the PC for Internet access.

Although people in the US still prefer to bank through a PC, the use of mobile phones is gaining acceptance. A poll earlier this year for Fiserv found three quarters of US customers would now consider using mobile banking services if offered, up from 49% in 2006.

Meanwhile the push to encourage m-banking take-up in the developing world was highlighted in August when California-based Obopay teamed with microfinance pioneer Grameen to launch an initiative that aims to use the technology to deliver banking services to a billion of the world's poorest people by 2018.

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