Opportunities in Mobile Financial Services

Businesses have started to recognize that the interoperability of mobile devices and the mass adoption of cellular technology have helped establish the mobile financial services marketplace.

Today there are 2 broad segments under the Mobile Financial Services Sector namely Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments

Mobile banking

Mobile banking allows customers to check balances, transfer funds, and receive alerts regarding their deposit or credit card accounts via three major delivery models:

  • Short Message Service (SMS)
  •  Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
  •  Custom Applications

Mobile payments

Mobile payments enable the mobile device to be used to initiate payment transactions. There are three main technologies underlying the development of mobile payments

  • Short Message Service (SMS)
  • Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)

Enhanced security and Convenience offered by the mobile platform are driving the growth of Mobile FS. This has resulted in consumer acceptance of paying for mobile data/content such as email, ringtones, music, photos, etc. This is expected to continue to grow –estimates predict mobile banking users will exceed 150MM globally by 2013 presenting a significant opportunity for savvy businesses

A recent survey by a leading global auditing firm found that

  • More than twice as many consumers today indicate they are comfortable using a mobile phone to handle their online financial tasks than two years ago—34 percent compared to 14 percent in 2008.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of the consumers in the survey say they have used their mobile devices for banking purposes, compared to only 19 percent in 2008.
  • The percentage of consumers who say they’ve used an online retailer’s site from a mobile phone nearly tripled to 28% from 10% in 2008.
  • Younger consumers more readily engage with m-commerce than older ones, with the highest usage coming from consumers in the 25-44 age range.

Key products that businesses can focus on to tap this rapidly growing market are

  • Developing custom applications to tap the Mobile Banking revolution. With the rapid growth in the number of smartphone brands and operating systems, this is expected to be a large market.
  • Mobile Commerce and Marketing: Businesses can tap Mobile phones to facilitate the sale, purchase, or advertisement of goods and services
  • Enable Remote Mobile Payments for purchases of their goods and services
  • Offer remote mobile top-up facility for differentiating their subscription services
  • Enable Mobile Bill payments, Ticket purchases, etc to reach a wider customer segment