In time we may look back at a number of the services featured in the March update of Mapa’s Mobile & SMS Banking Dashboard as being seminal services which triggered a fundamental change in digital retail banking.
For the time being, person-to-person payments is the area seeing most developments. Interestingly, a number of banks have bypassed their Mobile Banking application to introduce dedicated payment apps, for example:
In the UK Pingit has been a huge success, with over 350,000 downloads to date. With a new central database built by the Payments Council which will link mobile phone numbers and bank accounts, payments to mobile numbers will soon be standard in UK retail banking. Perhaps the greatest success of Pingit has been to bring mobile payments the consumer’s attention and make them a ‘must have’ feature.
The much heralded NFC revolution is also finally coming to fruition. Banks such as la Caixa and BNP Paribas have started to roll out their NFC offerings but it is Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Kaching which has grabbed all the headlines. Kaching allows users to make point-of-sale purchases using an app on their phone which also allows payments to mobile numbers and even Facebook accounts.
With the evolution of digital banking, providers have begun to re-think how customers interact with their money. PayPal and la Caixa are both launching ‘digital wallets’ which apply to online and mobile banking. PayPal’s wallet will be launched in May 2012 and includes automatic integration of loyalty cards, rules for card usage, grace periods and purchase financing options. The new PayPal wallet will be part of a complete overhaul of the PayPal user interface and we wait to see how the changes will transfer to their mobile offering.