Analysts at IDC are warning that commercial mobile banking is nearing the takeoff point and banks will have to invest to avoid losing customers.
A recent report finds that mobile banking is now being taken seriously by businesses and consumers and, with the economy picking up, banking IT infrastructure needs to be upgraded to meet expected demand.
Marc DeCastro, research manager for consumer banking and credit/community banking at IDC Financial Insights, said: "This is the time for banks to invest in their strategies for mobile banking or risk playing rapid catch up once usage does take off.
"Mobile banking for retail customers will become a staple, no different than online banking. Just like online banking, the justification for offering a mobile solution will be based on customer retention and cost reduction.”
DeCastro added: “The convergence of technologies into the mobile phone will continue to attract customers to the technology, and banks will need to offer a solution.”
While the most popular mobile banking function at the moment is checking balances, the report suggests that businesses and consumers now want the ability to shift money between accounts and access higher control functions from their mobile devices.
Meanwhile, mobile operators and developers need to shift their development model from one based on the number of users to one that charges for the application layer itself, so as not to dissuade banks from investing in back-end systems.
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