Analysts predict sharp uptake of mobile finance

Mobile financial services set to boom

“Mobile financial services have the potential to be bigger than mobile TV and premium mobile content in terms of numbers of subscribers,” says senior analyst Mark Beccue of ANI Research. “They have the broadest demographic appeal: almost anybody over the age of 18 is a potential user.”

The research firm defines three forms of mobile financial services : mobile banking , mobile domestic person-to-person payments, and international person-to-person payments.

While mobile banking services are likely to find their greatest market in the industrialised world, mobile domestic and international person-to-person payments may be important in less prosperous regions, enabling commerce, extending services to rural regions, and possibly even helping people previously excluded from the financial system to lift themselves out of poverty.

Banks will be the major promoters of this market, according to Beccue. 

“Every bank in the world is considering these options,” he says. “It’s a huge growth area. It allows banks to increase customer ‘stickiness,’ to cut costs and automate, and most importantly, to reach the unbanked. They are scrambling for ways to do it.”

The research firm argues that mobile banking services will be largely recession-proof because they're about consumers managing their money rather than spending it.

ABI Research’s Mobile Banking and Funds Transfer study examines the ways mobile financial services will be used, the organisations involved, , and what mobile network operators and financial services providers can do to take advantage of these opportunities. It includes forecasts for mobile banking, domestic person-to-person money transfers and international remittances.

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