As part of Mercator Advisory Group’s researchfor recent (and future) reports on mobile banking, we see anever-increasing array of available products, solutions, anddeployment methods.
Mobile banking solutions offer something for everyone, and caninclude one or more of the three mobile banking modes: ShortMessage Service (SMS), mobile Web solutions, and downloadablemobile apps. There are mobile banking solutions for most everydevice, in most every market.
While much marketing and media attention has focused on newfeatures available with downloadable apps, almost half of usersstill have feature phones and use SMS and mobile Web capabilities,meaning that financial institutions must provide solutions for allmobile banking modes.
In some cases, suppliers are offering quite innovative and creativeSMS, USSD and mobile Web capabilities for countries and regionswhere smartphone use is low or limited because of device and dataplan costs (e.g., Euronet’s capabilities in these areas,particularly in Europe, Asia, and Africa). For example, store andforward SMS/text messaging is a good medium in areas where the bulkof the population cannot afford expensive handsets and data plansubscriptions with the mobile operator. SMS has the ability to have100 percent penetration immediately as any mobile phone can supportit. SMS is also quick and easy, allowing simple transactionsrapidly without needing to log into a service.
Particularly with downloadable mobile apps, time to market is nowa fraction of the time previously seen, as institutions and vendorsemphasize downloadable apps typically develop the solutions at theplatform level (e.g., using Apple iOS, Google Android, or RIMBlackBerry operating systems), which is more efficient than theprevious method of writing point-to-point integration to specificdevices.
Regarding deployment options, financial institutions areincreasingly offering both traditional solutions that are deployedbehind their firewalls and/or hosted solutions that are eitherbranded as hosted solutions or otherwise offered as part of anenterprise offering, yet hosted remotely (ACI Worldwide’s mid-tierofferings for community banks and credit unions and top-tieroffering for large financial institutions immediately comes tomind). Again, the industry seems to be offering something foreveryone here.
Over the next few years, mobile banking will play an increasinglycritical role in FIs’ strategic plans. Since customers constantlyhave their mobile devices with them, their mobile devices will playa pivotal role as the personal banking interface that allows”anytime/anywhere” access to their DDA and other accounts.
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