Mike Grenville of 160characters.org has written an interesting article about the lack of progress with mobile banking services, particularly in relation to the use of SMS. While there is considerable evidence of customer demand for these capabilities, most banks in the UK and Europe have been extremely slow to implement mobile banking solutions.
I have felt for some time that banking is a service naturally suited to the mobile experience and remain amazed the financial services industry hasn’t pushed this further and faster. If the banks themselves do not take the lead, someone else will. In Japan, network operator DoCoMo is using its position and financial muscle to buy its way into the bamking business, driving the rollout of mobile payment and credit services.
As a bare minimum, customers should be able to check their balance, view statements and transfer money using their mobile handset. There are clear benefits for the bank in terms of reduced transaction cost and improved customer service. In the future I believe the mobile device has the potential to sit at the heart of a user’s financial behaviour – banks need to switch on to this and start understanding the mobile experience from the customer’s point of view as soon as possible.