Mobile Banking Grows in Popularity

November 23, 2010

Consumer confidence and comfort levels for mobile banking transactions are at an all-time high, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

Mobile Banking Growth Outpaces Call Centers

Nielsen examined the mobile banking user and found that 13.2% of US households accessed their bank account via a mobile device in Q2 2010, compared to 20.8% who accessed their account via the bank’s customer service call center.

While mobile access penetration is lower than other channels, it has grown almost 14% from 11.6% in Q1 2010, while call center access has remained relatively flat quarter-over-quarter.

Mobile Bank Customers Have Higher Balance, Net Worth

Nielsen data indicates mobile banking users bring greater value to an institution by maintaining average balances of $64,303, about 33% higher than the average customer’s balance of $48,384.

nielsen-mobile-net-worth-nov-2010.JPGIn addition, the average mobile banking user’s net worth of $341,017 is about 9% more than the average net worth of $313,346 held by their online banking counterparts and 21% higher than the market average of $281,263.

Banks Can Cash in on Mobile Opportunity

Nielsen advises that mobile banking provides rewarding opportunities to financial institutions who know how to connect with mobile consumers:

  • Drives loyalty: Mobile banking creates an ongoing uniform, consistent dialogue with the customer. Tell-a-friend and word-of-mouth programs are ways to engage with mobile customers and get their acquaintances to become involved.
  • Engages new segments: Mobile banking opens up new groups previously underserved, such as unbanked, younger or out-of-footprint. Banks should create family plans that parents and children can equally take advantage of; these plans should be communicated to wealthier customers by personal bankers or trusted financial advisors.
  • Empowers: Mobile banking provides customers with control of their finances with real-time interaction. Banks should create marketing messages that stress control and offer simple SMS text message alerts for overdrafts, potential fraud and payment due dates.
  • Offers solutions, not a product push: Mobile banking creates a vehicle for offering products that customers want and need at the exact moment when they need them. Real-time response isn’t easily replicated in most other channels. Regardless of the consumer mindset, this creates a positive customer experience and can be used across all demographics to broaden the mobile universe.

Mobile Banking Usage to Double by 2013

The number of worldwide mobile phone users who perform mobile banking will double from 200 million this year to 400 million in 2013, according to a recent white paper from Juniper Research. The Far East and China currently account for about half of global mobile banking users, and that percentage will remain virtually flat as the number of users increases globally.

Most regions will roughly retain their percentage of global mobile banking users in the next three years, with Western Europe accounting for the second-highest percentage of users and the Middle East and Africa and North America tying for the third-highest percentage.

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