According to a report by IMS Research, the time is right for services such as banking, money transfers and on-line payments to go mobile. Improved coverage, greater uptake of smartphones, higher mobile penetration and service availability have come together to create the prefect timing for mobile money services. Consumers, operators and financial stakeholders are also calling for the widespread availability of mobile payment platforms and applications.
“There has been a marked increase in the level of activity of key players in the market, from both the mobile and the financial companies in the past 12 months,” said John Devlin, lead analyst for the report, in a statement. “In regions such as North America, Japan and South Korea, strong partnerships are being formed between mobile operators and banks. In regions where banking infrastructure is much more limited in availability, battle lines are being drawn between the different stakeholders, with operators well positioned and less restricted in providing financial services to their subscribers.”
IMS found a number of technologies and features that could positively or negatively affect the uptake of mobile financial services, including SMS, MMS, WAP, e-mail and Bluetooth penetration and usage.
“To illustrate the forecast level of growth for mobile financial services, we are forecasting the number of cellular users to grow by 32% over the next four years; a significant number given the size of the market. By comparison, the number of active users of mobile banking and payment services is estimated to grow by 662% over the same timeframe, demonstrating the high growth potential that we see for mobile financial services,” Devlin added.