The majority of Britons will be using their mobile phone to manage their bank accounts, pay bills and make purchases within the next three years, according to new research published today.
The research into mobile banking and the changing nature of consumer trends by the Future Foundation think-tank, commissioned by Monitise, the global enabler of Mobile Money services, reveals that the number of Britons who manage their money on their mobile has doubled in two years to almost 10 percent of the population today.
This number will exceed 50 percent in the next few years as banks and retailers take advantage of the widespread adoption of smartphones, apps and 3G phone networks to deliver new services.
A major factor will also be the emergence of 'tap-and-go' payments using Near Field Communications, plus an increase in the range of Mobile Money services, e.g. person to person payments, location-based offers, shopping, transport, ticketing and entertainment.
The Future Foundation report, 'Emerging Trends in Mobile Banking', commissioned by Monitise surveyed 1,000 adults and found that Britain's growing army of mobile bankers:
* Like mobile banking and are doing it more and more - 57% have used mobile banking more frequently in the past year than they did in the previous year.
* Prefer the convenience and ease of mobile banking to online banking - 68% find banking on the handset easier than over the internet.
* Will embrace mobile commerce - 70% of mobile bankers are very keen to use their mobile to buy things.
The report also highlights how consumers' desire for 'simple complexity' - the ability to do complicated things easily and intuitively - will help shape the development of mobile banking. SMS texting, for example, appears clunky compared to a slick smartphone app.
This preference for the 'simple complexity' of mobile banking is borne out by the fact that many mobile money activities, including bill payments, balance transfers and checks, actually happen at home, despite the presence of a broadband-connected computer in the household.
The Future Foundation al also found that while users of mobile banking interact with their bank more frequently than the general population, they are using their mobiles for an increasing proportion of those interactions - mainly at the expense of branch visits and call-centre banking.
Commenting on the research findings, Alastair Lukies, chief executive of Monitise, which provides mobile banking services to many of the UK's high street banks and millions of people around the world, said: "This research gives a real insight into how quickly and completely Britons have made mobile banking a part of their everyday lives.
"The fact that more than half of Britons are expected to be using Mobile Money services in the next few years compared to one in 20 two years ago demonstrates an exceptional rate of growth.
"The driving forces are clear: people wanting to manage their money more closely; the arrival of the smartphone; and the development of 3G networks which transfer all the information required so quickly, plus the creation of new apps and services by banks and retailers.
"Mobile banking has truly come of age as people no longer see the ability to effectively manage their finances by mobile as a novelty or a 'nice to have' but increasingly as the norm.
Barry Clark, author of the report for the Future Foundation, concluded: "Our research programme for Monitise over the past three years undoubtedly shows UK consumers wanting to be increasingly in control of their money. This demand seems sure to continue as new services are made available, and people become more familiar with the concept of managing the full range of their finances through their handset."