Research company IDC Financial Insights has published a survey that shows mobile banking usage in the United States has almost doubled in the last 12 months. In fact, usage was up across all channels; branch, ATM, debit card, card centre, online and mobile. SMS text messages were the most popular form of mobile banking. However, the company points out that mobile banking is still not a mainstream channel and says it offers few revenue opportunities.
It's this issue of mobile banking introducing additional costs without providing opportunities for revenue that's the main challenge, according to IDC Financial Insights. It says the convenience of mobile banking doesn't currently appear to be something that people are willing to pay for, although enhancements to mobile platforms – including the addition of deposit and payment solutions – could provide more opportunities for financial institutions to add revenue opportunities.
Marc DeCastro, Consumer Banking and Credit Research Manager at IDC Financial Insights, said "Consumers are transaction and information happy, and the branch continues to be as popular as ever. The financial services industry recognizes the importance and advantage it has with its brick-and-mortar branch networks, evidenced by continued branch investment. Our survey, however, shows that consumers are getting more and more comfortable opening accounts outside of the branch. While many financial institutions have jumped into the mobile banking space and are offering solutions, some are still pondering their entrance. Those that have already installed a solution may also be looking at modifications or enhancements to their first-generation rollouts."