Inertia creeps: awareness of mobile banking is stagnant

Statistics from mobile advertising network BuzzCity have painted a pretty damning picture of customer awareness of mobile banking. The firm carried out a survey of 6,000 people across 20 countries this March and found that over a quarter (26%) didn't know whether their bank provided mobile banking services, writes Ellie Chambers

Statistics from mobile advertising network BuzzCity have painted a pretty damning picture of customer awareness of mobile banking. The firm carried out a survey of 6,000 people across 20 countries this March and found that over a quarter (26%) didn’t know whether their bank provided mobile banking services, writes Ellie Chambers

An incredible 27% of survey respondents said they didn’t know whether they could use their phone for banking and 31% said (incorrectly) that their phone was not capable of mobile banking.

All mobile phones are capable of basic SMS banking, and yet this last statistic actually represents a fall in awareness – last year 30% said their phones were incapable of mobile banking.

It beggars belief that in a world where we are spending more and more time glued to our mobile phones, awareness of mobile banking can have actually fallen.

I accept that the tyranny of screens (I have just had to buy my first glasses as a direct result of staring bug-eyed at screens, but I’m hardly bitter at all) may not be as absolute elsewhere as it is in Britain, but with the almost universal ubiquity of the mobile phone, how can so many potential customers be slipping through the net?

How on earth can we expect customers to get the message about mobile banking and accept it as a channel if no one appears to be sending the message?

Banks can’t blame customers’ security fears this time – a mere 20% of people said they avoided mobile banking due to security concerns in March 2014, down from 34% in July 2013.

In a further revelation, nearly a fifth (18%) of respondents said that their bank has not yet offered them mobile banking.

The author of the report, KF Lai said: "Anxieties will persist, but this apparent indifference among users many may yet be the biggest hurdle to overcome."

In view of the statistics laid out by BuzzCity, I’d say it’s not the users’ indifference we have to worry about. It’s the banks’.