The use of mobiles for banking and buying is set to grow, so corporate treasurers in the e-commerce sector should stay on top new payments innovations – and markets.
The GSMA, an industry association for mobile operators worldwide, unveiled its sixth State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money yesterday, which shows there are more than 500 million registered mobile money accounts across 92 countries. In December 2016 alone, the industry processed 1.3 billion transactions on mobile devices, averaging around 30,000 transactions a minute. However, not all registered mobile money accounts are active – just over one-third, or almost 174 million accounts, are active on a 90-day basis, according to the GSMA's report. Nonetheless, this is a figure that is set to keep on growing.
Follow your customers
It's clear from this report that the era of mobile banking is in full flow and this doesn't only apply to personal banking but to corporate banking too. An article yesterday on FEI Daily mentions the case of a financial services company that found more of its customers were engaging with its mobile app in one minute than visit all of its physical locations combined in a whole week. Of course, both banks and all retail-facing companies need to provide services where their customers are. You only have to visit your local cafe or bar, get on the train or observe people out shopping to know where most customers are: on their phones. So both financial and non-financial companies should be investing in their mobile apps to allow customers the flexibility they want: whether it's being able to easily check account balances on their mobiles, make peer-to-peer payments or use services such as PayPal.
Proliferation of mobile payment products
Corporate treasurers in the e-commerce space will have to ensure their online and mobile offerings are keeping up with the 'anytime, anywhere' demands of the mobile-dependent generations. The choice of applications and services available is bound to increase with the introduction of PSD2 in the EU in January 2018. This will open up the market to third-parties to develop innovative services using APIs. Innovation in mobile banking is also set to grow across emerging markets such as India, where favourable regulation and a thriving tech industry, as well as huge customer demand of around a billion potential mobile users, are seeing the development of mobile payment products.
Of course fraud and security are the biggest issues as the mobile banking industry grows - something that might get worse before it gets better, at least according to one report.
CTMfile take: It's a sad fact but most of us are dependent on our mobile phones, not just for communication and info but also for (some) financial services (whether it's receiving authentication codes or using mobile apps for payments and e-wallet transactions). While the pros and cons of mobile addiction can be debated, it would be handy to manage all cash flows through a mobile device! Do you agree that we are going in the right direction with mobile banking? Or are we setting ourselves up for huge security problems?
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