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UK Set For Mobile Banking Explosion


The UK is set for growth in the mobile banking market, claims a technology firm.

Mobile banking specialist Monitise, in reporting its results for its first year as a listed company following a demerger from Morse plc, announced that it expected an explosion in mobile banking with a third of all UK current account holders having access to its services.

Alastair Lukies, chief executive of Monitise, said: "The mobile banking and payments market is rapidly gaining momentum, not dissimilar to the growth of internet banking in its early stages."

Duncan McIntyre, chairman of the firm, explained that mobile banking was becoming a "fifth channel for banks" in addition to call centres, cash machines, websites and branches.

"We are trying to be the electronic bank in your pocket," he said. "I am relatively confident that within the next 12 months we'll have most big-name banks signed."

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Alliance & Leicester, HSBC, and mobile phone operators Vodafone and Orange have all signed up to mobile banking technology in preparation for mobile banking to take off in the UK.

Last month RBS launched its mobile banking service - joining First Direct and HSBC which already offer mobile banking options -providing bank statements via mobile phones to 13 million customers.

Paul Geddes, chief executive of RBS consumer banking, said: "Mobile phone banking will give people another easy way to access account information and even greater flexibility in managing their money at any time.

"We're sure this service will be popular, particularly with young people such as students whose phones are central to their lives and also want the easiest way to keep track of their money."

By the end of the year Alliance & Leicester will allow customers to make bank transfers and 'peer-to-peer' payments by mobile.

It is claimed that mobile banking could be more secure that internet banking as only a single handset can be linked to an account and personal data is stored on the phone.

A recent study by Jupiter research shows currently one in ten consumers who bank online would be interested in mobile banking, although this is expected to increase as options become more available.