The varying levels of mobile phone technology and telecommunication infrastructure across the Asia/Pacific region make it extremely difficult to deploy one effective mobile financial solution for all countries, says Financial Insights, an IDC company, while releasing its report: Mobile Banking and Beyond. Also, Frost & Sullivan reports on Latin American mobile banking market.
Financial Insights believes that the move towards the convergence of internet and mobile banking, which are two previously separate channels, will impact not only how channel strategies are crafted in institutions but also overall customer engagement approaches.
According to another research firm Frost & Sullivan, in Latin American mobile banking market, currently the main channel of connection is SMS and is likely to remain so since mobile banking through messaging will be less expensive for the user and will not require a sophisticated handset.
However, accessing mobile banking with a special WAP application will represent a considerable increase in mobile data use. So carriers will be most interested in working together with financial institutions to promote this value added service, believes Frost & Sullivan.
In another study, tech research firm In-Stat says while more than two trillion mobile messages are being sent per day globally as of the end of 2008, messaging is a big revenue source for mobile operators.
According to Financial Insights, some of the emerging trends being witnessed in mobile banking in Asia/Pacific are:
· In the past, mobile banking and payments were driven by telecommunication players. Now, banks are taking the lead in deploying such services. This is not to say that telecommunication companies have been cut out of the mobile banking proposition. Rather, banks are now partnering with telecommunication companies and other IT vendors to deploy such solutions on a more equal footing.
· Currently, mobile banking deployment differs significantly between developed and developing countries in the Asia/Pacific region. Financial institutions in the region’s mature markets are seeking to converge Internet and mobile banking channels, whereas those in developing markets are looking to grow customer bases by focusing on the unbanked.
· Newer and more innovative mobile banking solutions are being implemented. This has resulted in mobile banking services moving beyond being just an extension of current financial services delivered via a mobile device. By fully integrating mobile solutions with the banks’ core systems, these solutions now provide more value-added services not only to the customers but also to the bank itself.
The Financial Insights report discusses the mobile banking solutions deployed in Asia/Pacific by OCBC Bank in Singapore, ANZ Bank in Australia, and Kasikornbank in Thailand. It also presents Financial Insights’ views on how this area will evolve in the region in the near future.