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November 24, 2007


Paul Jardine

Hi Tommi,
I think there is huge potential for mobile banking, one of the features I was specifying for a prepaid system back in 1999 was specifically to allow balance transfers between accounts (the ability to extract your balance in cash being up to the operator).
The main thing to be able to do is authenticate the end points of the transfer (and it applies in banking too).
If you think about 2 farmers wanting to trade a few goats or whatever, out in the middle of the plains in Kenya, what is most convenient? A 50 mile trek to the nearest town to find a bank, or a secure transaction over their mobile phones. It also means they don't have to carry cash, which would make it dangerous for them to walk around in the open.
I recently had to pay for my car in Thailand in cash, because the seller charged an extra 5% for using a credit card. I don't feel too comfortable carrying around large sums of cash (and large is relative!).
Mobile banking is for P2P transactions rather than P2B or B2P (initially). This means it is much better suited to countries where much of the trade is between individuals rather than large corporates.
I can already do mobile banking through my bank website on my mobile phone (though the interface is not designed for mobile use), but what would be more interesting would be if my bank linked my account number to my mobile phone and allowed a more rapid interface/authentication mechanism. There is no need for the operator to control the balance, just a better interface between the end-user and the bank account.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Paul

Thanks. Very good observations and examples, thank you.

Tomi :-)


Just for comparison purposes, I wanted to post some new statistics on Mobile Banking from China:

"As of October 2007, ICBC [China's largest bank] saw an increase of 3.084 million new mobile phone banking users, which was an increase of 151% over the same period of last year and brought it total mobile phone banking service user number to 4.7 million."

Although the number of mobile phone banking users may not be very high given China's huge population, it is important to remember how new consumer banking is in China. More importantly, the 151% growth rate is indicative of the direction Chinese banking customers are heading.


Alan moore


Thanks for the update - These really interesting numbers. We are moving inevitably towards a world where we will use mobile devices for more than text and voice.

Thanks for posting


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