A new report by Juniper Research finds that the rush by banks and mobile operators to deliver financial services to the mobile phone will result in just over 612 million mobile phone users generating over $587 billion worth of financial transactions by 2011.
Mobile financial services are being deployed in a manner that is similar to the 'gold rush' of the 1990s when internet banking services were rapidly deployed. The financial services 'fourth screen' -- the ATM in your pocket -- is giving mobile phone users the freedom to bank and to make payments on the move.
The report found that the mobile phone has enormous potential when used as a tool for financial services, and is only just at the beginning of a journey that is likely to revolutionise the sector in a similar manner that the ATM (Automated Telling Machine) did for the banking and cash business -- which in contrast took some twenty years to fully develop.
The report categorises Mobile Financial Services (MFS) into two distinct areas: Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments with Mobile Payments predicted to generate almost $22bn of transactions by 2011 and be adopted by 204m mobile phone users. Whether from a migrant worker sending funds back to his/her family at home from overseas or a commuter paying for travel around the London tube system, there are many examples of the growth of MFS from all regions around the world.
Report author Alan Goode said: "A combination of increased user demand and a desire from all sections of the MFS ecosystem to deliver intelligent applications and services has created an atmosphere that is both creative and pragmatic."