With all of the major Banks here in Canada providing online banking as a safe and secure alternative to traditional (paper) banking, the push is on for mobile banking adoption as alternative means to banking. Most Banks have mobile apps which can be downloaded to your smartphone whether it be Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device which allows you to do secure transactions with as much ease and versatility as any other online medium.
Is Mobile Banking relatively new phenomenon in Canada?
A recent study released by Comscore Inc. a leader in measuring the digital world, suggest 40% growth in mobile banking in Europe while here in Canada 12.3% Canadian mobile subscribers (24.5 million) have accessed banking, credit card, insurance or brokerage account information from their device. also with Banking apps only becoming available in the last 18 months not many have had the opportunity to try it out yet.
Mobile Banking vs Online Banking
Mobile banking just like online banking provides secure transaction and enquiry based services from your cell phone What this really means is you can transfer funds, pay bills and make enquiries about any service that the bank provides whether it be checking for bank rates, using mortgage calculator or simply doing a balance enquiry on your account from your smartphone. Other more complex services soon to be added is mobile stock-trading which will allow you to trade online. What it really comes down too is mobile banking is merely an extension of online banking.
Why slow adoption?
So why mobile banking still is considered to be in its infancy in Canada, especially when compared to Europe where this technology is widely popular:-
- Relatively new service with 1 st Banking app available back in early 2010
- Lingering concerns about the security of banking through their smart phone
- Limited access with only 8.5 Million Smartphone users in Canada at end of Q2
- High data plan rates which is needed to access mobile banking services such as mobile web, mobile app and text based services.
- Banking apps rank as the sixth most popular category of apps, behind more-established offerings such as games, weather, messaging, social networking and maps and navigation
So, do we anticipate this changing in 2012?
The short answer is yes. As we approach the New Year, financial institutions will need to continue to focus on programmes to restore their brand image and reputation and mobile technology will have an important role to play in this regard. More importantly mobile banking is a cost effective way of doing banking for both the bank and you, so this is the real driver. Also, mobile technology popularity is expected to grow as more features are added like mobile stock-trading expected by year end and more cell phone users upgrade to a smartphone. The key to all of this is providing a secure, user-friendly and safe environment.