The number of people around the world using mobile banking services is doubling every year and will reach 250 million subscribers by 2015, according to ABI Research.
Of these, 66 million will be in North America but it is Asia, and in particular India, that is leading the way in take-up, already accounting for the lion's share of the 30 million subscribers in 2009.
Growth in Europe and North America has been limited so far because - in contrast to banks elsewhere - the financial institutions in those areas have been offering mobile banking primarily to existing users of their online services, says ABI. Wide access to computers and easy access to physical bank branches lessened consumers' motivation to adopt the new channel.
However, the firm says this could be changing and cites Wells Fargo's recent decision to extended its text banking service to all customers, including those yet to sign up for online banking.
Mark Beccue, senior analyst, ABI, claims that moves like this will mean a new wave of mobile banking growth outside Asia: "North America and Europe are still a long way from what anyone would call a 'mass market' uptake of mobile banking, but those regions offer the best long-term conditions for that to occur," he says:
Projections on the uptake of m-banking vary wildly. Last year Berg Insight claimed numbers will hit 900 million by 2015 while Juniper Research predicts 150 million by 2011.