Analysts Suggest Mobile Banking Will Increase 5x Shortly

A Forrester forecast indicates one in five American consumers will be using mobile banking by 2015. Rapid consumer adoption of smartphones and increased use of the mobile Web will result in more customers using mobile banking to check balances, review transactions, or receive alerts, according to the latest Forrester research.

Emmett Higdon, senior analyst at Forrester and author of the report, proposes banks should consider this trend now to create a more robust, sophisticated execution of online banking.

Higdon chronicles the smartphone adoption through five major factors: enthusiastic smartphone adoption, greater mobile Web use, steady increase in supply, enhanced mobile usability, and generational shifts.

“Gen X adults (ages 31 to 44) today make up 39 percent of U.S. mobile bankers —the most of any generation,” Higdon writes. “When combined with Gen Y users, the two account for more than three-quarters of all current mobile banking users. By 2015, Gen Y will surpass Gen X and will make up 44 percent of U.S. mobile bankers. These two groups represent the present and the future of mobile banking.”

The current growth of online banking is not sustainable without new targets, such as offline customers, multichannel users, and online banking accounts, according to Higdon, who also points to a major flaw in how online banking is currently promoted. Most programs seek out active online adults, yet more adults currently own a cell phone than have access to the Internet or a PC. Higdon describes this segment of the population as a “fertile target market” that banks have already begun to court. The report also reveals that 30 percent of online adults bank online via more than one channel each month. Twenty-seven percent of mobile banking users began using online banking shortly after signing up for mobile banking.

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