Mobile banking uptake increasing, despite risks

03 Aug 2010 View Comments
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Consumers are ready for mobile banking, according to Sybase

The latest research conducted by Sybase 365, a mobile commerce provider for financial institutions, shows that demand for mobile banking services has exceeded forecasts.

Some 30 per cent of mobile users currently use banking services on their mobile device, far exceeding predictions made by the company in 2008 that it would be just 16 per cent.

Further reading

These findings echo the opinion of Jerome Svigals, director of the Smart Card Institute, speaking at a recent webinar on Retail Banking 2020.

“There will be a dramatic increase in the use of [mobile] self-service in the banking industry. We’re starting to see the demise of face-to-face banking,” Svigals said.

However, a report from analyst Ovum warns that mobile banking will increasingly be threatened by malware.

Graham Titterington, principal analyst at Ovum, said: “Mobile networks may be intercepted either by breaking the wireless encryption mechanism or by hacking into the wired backbone of the network where encryption is not mandatory under telecommunications standards.

"IT malware that compromises back-end servers, but is harmless in the wireless environment, may be passed through the mobile banking interface,” he said.

The research surveyed over 4,100 mobile phone users across the globe and found that the mobile phone market has matured significantly in the past three years.

The main findings show that mobile phones have evolved from being simple telephone communication devices to becoming life management tools, entertainment systems and virtual wallets. Almost half of all mobile users use their handset to access the internet every week.

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