SMS banking set to boom

Mobile banking

Mobile banking users can expect an average of one SMS message every two days by 2015, according to Juniper Research.

In a study of the opportunities and strategies of banks and banking vendors for the next five years, Juniper concludes that SMS traffic will increase to 90 billion texts per year. This figure was reached after interviewing 77 banks worldwide.

More than 80 per cent of banks currently offer some form of mobile banking. These are primarily alerts about balances and potentially fraudulent transactions. Based on its interviews, Juniper believes that there is considerable scope for banks add new services to speed up customer communications during applications for products such as loans and mortgages.

Mobile Banking report author Howard Wilcox explained: "Our survey concluded that banks in all regions are becoming increasingly innovative in their service offerings and provide impetus for user growth. Mobile is becoming a must-have channel for banks."

He predicts that the Far East and China will be the regions with the highest number of users in 2015. Despite this, Western Europe will be the region with the highest penetration of users by 2015. This will result in the 200 million worldwide who will have made use of phone services by the end of 2010 more than doubling in number by 2013.

The overall strategy behind developing alert messaging is to lead customers into the self-service world using a delivery format familiar to them.

"Our research found that messaging is a win-win for banks," he concluded. "They can improve customer service significantly, whilst simultaneously eliminating the cost of servicing customer enquiries placed with call centres."