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Mobile Banking: It’s still where the action is...

POSTED BY Global Administrator
It’s been a while since I last posted on mobile banking.  But market activity is continuing unabated. This week is a case in point with developments in three continents. Northeast Bank launched its mobile banking iPhone app. China’s three mobile operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have partnered with the country’s largest commercial bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), to launch 3G WAP mobile banking services. LIME in the Caribbean has been selected to partner with a number of indigenous banks to provide mobile banking services. But perhaps the most interesting news this week has been the reports about Bank of America. These have suggested that up to a possible ten percent of its branches may close due to customers using online and mobile banking more. The bank was at pains to emphasise that there are no specific plans. Well, whatever the outcome of this particular story is, there’s no doubt that mobile banking is a major cost cutting opportunity for banks. Just take one example and it’s easy to see. I’m on the way to work and I suddenly remember I needed to check my balance to see if the utility payment has been made. So I call the bank’s call centre. I wait for a representative. They look at the account and tell me today’s transactions. Time taken: maybe three minutes? With mobile banking I could just get an SMS telling the same information. The cost to the bank of an automatic SMS would be pennies. Compare that to the call centre cost and multiply by thousands of customers and you can see that time and money would be rapidly saved. Then add in the ability to make transactions on the move…