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Mobile Banking Overtakes Telephone Banking in the UK and USA

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Surpassing both branch and telephone banking in terms of popularity, a survey has found that 25 percent of U.S. mobile phone users and 37 percent of U.K. mobile phone users have adopted mobile banking services. When asked which banking method users preferred, respondents found mobile banking more convenient and easier to use than telephone banking (voice and touchtone) by a margin of 3 to 1 in the U.S. and by a 1 percent margin in the U.K.

Conversely, when asked about branch banking, fewer respondents selected it as their favorite method of banking, with only 2 percent in the U.S. and 3 percent in the U.K. choosing it as their preferred method.

The research, commissioned by mBlox, revealed that the greatest benefits of mobile banking for consumers (52 percent in the U.S. and 46 percent in the U.K.) are the ability to "access banking services anywhere, at any time," as well as "convenience" and "time-saving."

"It's clear from the findings of this survey that consumer behavior is shifting to adopt the capabilities afforded by mobile banking," said Andrew Dark, CEO, mBlox. "We are seeing strong interest in the mobile sector from a wide variety of industries including transportation, retail, marketing and entertainment, which shows there is an opportunity for financial services to benefit from this increasingly popular channel."

The research also identified the services consumers are most interested in using on their mobile phones. In both countries, respondents rated as their top four services: daily balance notifications; suspicious activity notifications; fraud alert notifications; and low balance, overdraft, and credit limit notifications. U.S. respondents also cited as a key service the ability to transfer funds between accounts, while U.K. respondents favored the ability to view statements and transaction history.

"Consumers today want real-time, round-the-clock access to their finances and are demanding a higher level of convenience for managing such information," said Soren Bested, Managing Director of Monitise Americas, an mBlox partner providing mobile banking and payment services to North American financial institutions. "It's no surprise that the 'anywhere, anytime' aspect of mobile banking was one of the greatest benefits found in the mBlox research, and we see SMS as a key ingredient in providing that convenience factor. Whether it be requesting an account balance or receiving a text alert notifying consumers of activity on their account, SMS provides a method of financial control. We're delighted to partner with mBlox to deliver high-quality, reliable, and secure mobile messaging to our customers."

The research highlighted two factors, however, that may be slowing down the growth of mobile banking services. These top two reservations were identified by respondents as "security" (33 percent in the U.S. and 49 percent in the U.K.) and "cost" (31 percent in both the U.S. and U.K.).

"We understand that security will be a consumer concern with any banking service. For this reason, mBlox continues to invest significant sums in its data centers, processes and networks to ensure that it is on par with the latest financial security standards," said Dark. "With regards to cost, SMS is an inherently cost-effective solution for the transmission of information, with minimal or no cost to the end user. Our ability to facilitate the safety and integrity of consumer's financial information is paramount and is what sets us apart from our competitors. The industry needs to work together to educate users to the secure and cost-effective nature of mobile banking services and we at mBlox intend to lead in this respect."

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Tags: mobile banking  mblox  fraud  UK