UK trails world in mobile phone banking

Mobile phone banking in the UK is lagging behind the services offered in the rest of the world and as a result consumers do not value it.

Market analyst Datamonitor said that while people in countries in Africa, Asia, India and Russia had access to advanced mobile banking services, most UK consumers were offered only basic text-based functions, such as being able to check their balances, according to market analyst Datamonitor.

As a result, it said people in the UK did not see the importance of the technology, with just 16 per cent of people valuing it, compared with 60 per cent in Brazil.

The group said one of the reasons mobile banking was more sophisticated in many developing countries was that they lacked the infrastructure for consumers to be able to access their accounts by the internet, or in some cases, even for them to be able to travel to branches.

The situation meant that using a mobile phone was often the easiest way for people to communicate with their bank, creating high levels of demand.

But Datamonitor predicted that the use of mobile banking in the UK would overtake the popularity of internet banking, once the technology became more sophisticated, with the rate of adoption increasing far more quickly than it did for online services.

It said one of the key reasons it was predicting a strong growth in demand was that mobile banking would be far more convenient than online banking, once both methods offered similar levels of services.

Mobile banking services that are offered in other countries include applications that enable people to transfer money to third parties using just their mobile phone number, without needing to know their bank account details.

Other tools include financial planning and bill reminders, and money management services, showing people how much money they have spent on certain goods and services.

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