Banks need to be more proactive with their customers in mobile banking

Dr KF Lai, CEO, BuzzCity

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Our recent survey of over 3,300 mobile customers has revealed that more people than ever are using mobile devices to make payments. In fact, the number of people using this method for transactions worldwide has overtaken those using debit and credit cards — and in no fewer than 17 of the 23 countries included in the research mobile banking is more popular or equally popular as card payments. The strongest recent adoption has been in Asia, where India, Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka have all seen strong growth in mobile as a means of making payments. 

Despite this meteoric surge in mobile payments, banks seem to be missing a trick when it comes to informing customers about the services and technology available to them; fewer than 20% of customers hear about mobile banking directly from a mobile advert or their bank. While most mobile surfers are now using mobiles to complete financial transactions, banks could be in danger of alienating users when adding new features and releasing upgrades to services — because not enough people are being exposed to information about the services available on their device.

64% of mobile banking customers still use cash to pay either at the store or upon delivery rather than making direct transactions from their device. By directly addressing customers through their mobiles, banks can not only ensure higher uptake among those who are reluctant to make payments on their device, but also inform users directly of any changes to the service, updates or added security measures.  

At present, nearly half (42%) learn about mobile banking opportunities via TV compared to the 16% who actually learn about it on their mobile device. This means that banks are simply failing to sufficiently communicate on the very platform on which they are offering their services. 

As seen by the USA's apparent reluctance to adopt mobile as a method of payment (16% of Americans use it, compared to 19% using card payments), the resistance to mobile banking is not closely related to technological availability - but perhaps more of an oblivion to the services that are open to them and a heavy loyalty to "tried and tested" methods such as cash and card payments. 

With more banking services targeted directly at mobile devices and users — coupled with greater security mechanisms — mobile payments will continue to rise and eventually wholly usurp card payments and cash to become the most popular method of transactions worldwide.