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?