Half of Britain's financial services firms think that mobile banking is already important to their customers, while 71% predict it will be by 2015, according to a survey from Fujitsu.
The poll of 50 CIOs from across the UK wholesale, investment and retail banking worlds shows that mobile is now seen as a top business priority for the industry.
The main reason for putting resources into mobile is its potential as a new revenue stream but three quarters of respondents also cite the channel's ability to retain customers and boost their loyalty through better service.
Anthony Duffy, director, retail banking, Fujitsu UK & Ireland, says: "The reputational crisis that the financial services industry has been through has tested customer loyalty. Mobile banking offers a growing route to customer acquisition and to enhance satisfaction."
However, IT leaders admit that there are still significant barriers to deploying a successful mobile banking strategy, with 42% deterred by the investment needed and 64% concerned about security.
Only this week, NatWest suspended its GetCash mobile app, which lets users withdraw money from ATMs without a card, after it emerged that thieves had used it to defrauded customers.
The poll shows that cloud computing is also now high on the agenda of CIOs, with 60% believing that it will help them meet their business strategies and 64% thinking that it is a key enabler of change within their organisation.
A significant number of respondents plan on deploying cloud-based systems to drive efficiency with core functions, particularly in retail banking areas, such as loan processing (77%), credit card processing (70%) and mortgage processing (64%).
The CIOs also used the survey to call for more money, with 65% warning that in order to transition the IT department to truly meet changing business needs, extra budget will be required.
The right skills are also crucial and financial services companies are increasingly looking for help from third-parties, provided that the latter can demonstrate understanding of core processes. Two thirds look for this strength, with a further third seeking enterprise and infrastructure skills.