Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On the Move . . . and Going Mobile

By Michael Scheibach, Executive Editor, BankNews

Whether in your role as a bank professional or as a consumer, it's hard not to be excited about the possibilities associated with mobile technology.

In my professional role, I recently attended two info-packed conferences: the Mobile Banking & Emerging Technologies Summit in New Orleans; and the Prepaid Cards & Mobile Commerce Conference in Denver. Speakers included leading bankers with a clear vision and strategic plan for mobile banking and mobile payments, as well as such non-banking powerhouses as eBay, which will surpass $4 billion in mobile payments this year.

As one speaker said, 2011 is "The Year of Mobile Payments." The next step in mobile banking offers opportunities - and some trepidation - for banks, and exciting new possibilities for consumers.

Statistics tend to wave in the wind, but still . . .

-- 75 million people in the U.S. own smartphones.

-- AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, collectively, have more than 270 mobile customers, just not all smartphones ... yet.

-- Android has surpassed Apple in number of devices, with 400,000 Android devices being sold daily.

-- By end of this year, there will be 53 million iPads sold worldwide. And other tablets will most definitely increase this number substantially.

Banks have gotten the message: The world is going mobile. What remains is the implementation of technology to keep banks at the forefront of mobile payments. And this will take both commitment and dollars.