Mobile Banking Awareness In India


Recently, a mobile payment service provider—My Mobile Payment—launched its full-fledged mobile wallet services “Money-on-Mobile” in India. Beside of this, some other players including Airtel are also offering mobile wallet service across the country. Indeed, mobile banking, which encourages customers for conducting balance inquiries, utility payments, account transactions and other banking activities using mobile handset, is a one step ahead service compare to traditional banking services, which offer the same services to subscribers through branch office and ATMs.

However, Mobile banking in India is still nascent, despite of, it was started in 2002. Actually, the mobile banking has got recognition since last couple of years due to increasing mobile subscribers baselines. Undoubtedly, India is the world’s second largest country in terms of mobile subscribers, but ironically, less than of 1% of total of the mobile subscribers are currently using their handsets for banking purpose.

Increasing Smartphone penetration across the country has boosted usages of internet on mobile handsets. It should be known that banks are currently using WAP-based internet websites and mobile applications for offering banking services on mobile handsets. Indian banks are trying with their level-based to spread out the banking services on mobile devices, but the issue is here that just meager number of population are actively using the services on mobile platform across the country.

I accept, there are lots of barriers forcing to not use mobile handsets as conventional way for banking. At present, the lack of interest of folks to adopt mobile channel for banking services, limitation of banking services on mobile and non-replication of vernacular services on mobile platform for banking are the main reasons why mobile banking service is still immature in India.

Now, banks are using another alternative method (called USSD) for mobile banking services across the country. It’s some what more easier than WAP-based internet service. USSD works on menu-based banking model.

It’s the approach to drive banking services basically in rural areas, where majority of folks are still bereaved from banking facilities. Banking services through mobile handsets could play a vital role to reach financial inclusion in India.

I have already described, the transactional mobile banking services will globally surpass 550 million by 2016 from 185 million in 2011. It’s expected that 1 out of 10 mobile users will pay bills using their mobile device by 2016.

However, mobile users are still reluctant to use mobile device for banking purposes due to security vulnerabilities. It’s astounding me a lot that 8 out of 10 bank apps are vulnerable in security aspects. At present, a significant numbers of mobile bank apps are available on different platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone and more. It has been noticed that Android Platform is less secured compare to other platforms including Windows Phone, iOS and BlackBerry. Surprisingly, Indian mobile subscribers are more committed towards Android than other platforms. Despite of all  these issues, we might expect mobile banking services proliferation in upcoming years in India.

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