Microsoft enters mobile banking
Regular readers of our blog will be familiar with my posts about mobile banking being where the action is. Well folks, you gotta believe it! This week came the news that Microsoft and M-Com are to deliver a mobile payments solution globally. Actually alhough the headline says "Payments", in my view it's really banking. The release goes on to say "Using Microsoft technologies, M-Com BankAnywhere provides a complete end-to-end mobile payments solution for the banking industry worldwide." This is all about additive banking. Additive banking is about adding further choices or channels for banks to serve their customers or making the banking experience more convenient for existing customers. Additive banking is a critical strategy and driving force for established banks globally. And it's more than just balance enquiries and details of the last 6 transactions. The crucial aspect is enabling transactions for people to do on the move - after all doing your banking ain't the most exciting thing in the world so why not save time & do it while you're travelling anyway? Adam Clark, CEO of M-Com confirmed the growing demand: "It is clear that consumers in Asia and around the world have an insatiable demand for mobile financial services, especially payment transactions. Banks must engage their customers and prospects in the mobile channel in the short term..." Well that's certainly my experience and the early mover banks I spoke to when researching our report on mobile banking are all pursuing this strategy via SMS/USSD, mobile web or increasingly downloadable app.