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Massive mobile banking growth

By David McMillin ·
Friday, January 20, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

Haven't started banking from your smartphone yet? Let's see how long that lasts.

According to a new report from UK-based mobile analyst firm Juniper Research, the number of mobile banking users will grow to 530 million by 2013. That's quite the leap. The study estimates there were just more than 300 million users in 2011.

Mobile banking certainly adds convenience for account holders, but the report cites another reason for the rapid acceleration in consumers who use their devices to check balances, transfer money and monitor their personal finances: uncertain economic conditions. Because of continued concerns over shaky stock markets and global financial instability, the report predicts account holders will seek tighter control over their own money. That means instant access to a complete picture of your checking account, savings account and investment accounts.

Based on Juniper's predictions and the growing demand for a smartphone to be able to do, well, everything, we can expect to see more research and development at banks as financial institutions race to debut the newest tools and technologies. However, as they work to develop those tools, banks will need to dedicate an equal portion of their budgets and resources to enhancing the security of mobile banking. We've seen a lot of recent reports about the security flaws in some banks' mobile apps. While consumers may be concerned about economic uncertainties, I think they are equally concerned about the very real concerns of identity theft.

Still, there are plenty of account holders who are a bit more carefree about their sensitive information, and banks will count on them to set the trend for adopting new technologies.

What do you think of the prediction? If you haven't already begun using your smartphone for your personal finances, do you expect to be part of the rise over the next two years? And are you concerned over the safety of transmitting your account information from your phone?

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Karen Gordon
January 23, 2012 at 9:53 am

As security improves with regard to apps, I believe more consumers will be willing to bank on their mobile devices. Especially considering that many consumers were once reluctant to transmit their financial data electronically to shop or conduct their banking online. These activities have now become a mainstream practice because consumers have a way to verify their information is being protected (check for the https). I personally was not an early adopter of the smartphone but now I can't imagine not having one. While I don't conduct my banking on my mobile device, and don't feel comfortable doing so right now, I foresee adopting this technology as security is enhanced.

January 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Instant access requirement is just as needed as bottom of the sole shoe polish. Quick, easy, and secure access - yes. Instant - no.
So I access my accounts at 11pm - guess what - nothing I will do will take effect until morning of the next business day at the earliest (brokerage). Can be 2nd business day for most bank transactions. Reliance on smart phones can be a curse, if you drop one the wrong way.
I find accounts using SecureID (RSA) better solution for both security (password requires code that changes every minute) and flexibility - any internet device can be your bank/brokerage access point. Including phone.