Community Service with the Personal Touch

September 23, 2014
/   Insights

Question: Community branch, personal service, mobile banking—which is the odd one out? Answer: None. Otherwise, the industry is in trouble. For some time now, there have been discussions about the future of community banks...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Platform Shift in the Making

February 13, 2013
/   Insights

What does the banking industry as a whole have to do with Amazon, Microsoft and Apple? Just about nothing—and down the road, it may turn into a major problem (if it isn’t already). Consider...

Financial Literacy Month: How are you celebrating?

March 22, 2013
/   Insights

With April approaching, it’s almost time to kick off Financial Literacy Month! Strongly supported by the United States Congress and the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, Financial Literacy Month aims to promote the importance...

Mobile Banking Engagement: Data from Digital Insight

June 24, 2013
/   Spotlight

Intuit Financial Services has been conducting a comprehensive and ongoing study of financial institution customers. From these studies, the company has been able to provide a deeper view of banking customer behavior across several...

Security: What It Takes to Lead the Way

January 22, 2014
/   Insights

You say Target, we say EMV—how’s that for a conversation-starter? The recent mass hack of retail giant Target—it’s estimated that more than 100 million consumers’ information might have been compromised—has generated considerable attention, as...

Could it be that the only numbers growing faster than mobile transactions are statistics about mobile transactions?

According to a new one just out from ABI Research, mobile shopping will make up nearly a quarter of all global online shopping revenue by the end of 2017. That’s great news for companies invested in this arena, since it clearly represents a sharp spike over the current market, which other estimates place at 10%. However, the same source indicated back in February 2010 that mobile shopping would reach $119 billion in 2015, representing about 8% of the overall e-commerce market.

That’s obviously comparing apples to oranges, but the larger problem is that it’s virtually impossible to accurately predict what’s going to happen with regard to technology use. Technological capabilities are always advancing, and user habits are constantly evolving, but the two phenomena frequently seem unrelated. The emergence of new capabilities does drive usage, of course, just as human needs drive the development of those capabilities, but they seldom happen in tandem. The flood of statistics that keep changing illustrates this problem.

In particular, the intersection of money, technological capabilities and behavioral change make for a strange brew. This is the very essence of a moving target.

Consider mobile payments. Portio Research told us back in March 2010 that 81.3 million people worldwide had used mobile device to make payments the previous year. By the end of 2014, this was predicted to rise to nearly 490 million, or 8% of all mobile subscribers. In June 2011, Yankee Group was putting dollar signs into the mix, reporting that global mobile transactions would reach $241 billion in 2011, and jump to more than $1 trillion by 2015. Fast forward another year, and Gartner was reporting that the number for worldwide mobile payment transaction values in 2011 had been $105.9 billion, and will surpass $171.5 billion in 2012. Bringing it back to users, meanwhile, Gartner said there had been 160.5 million in 2011, and is set to jump to 212.2 million this year.

One more demonstration of how the numbers stack up, even if they don’t add up: Yankee Group identified EMEA as the mobile money hot spot, accounting for 41% of mobile transaction value in 2011, compared to 35% for North America, 22% percent in Asia-Pacific and just 1% percent in Latin America. Others saw it differently: According to IDTechEx (R&M), Feb 2011, Japan had 47 million users adopting tap-and-go phones in just three years, and at the very same time, ComScore was revealing that that in December 2010 alone, 10% of Japanese mobile subscribers had used their mobile wallet to make a purchase—a undeniably a high number.

And how about mobile banking? Try this: In the spring of 2010, Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicted that the global customer base for mobile banking will reach 1.1 billion by the year 2015, while Berg Insight put the corresponding number at 894 million users. In the summer of 2011, Yankee Group brought the figure down further, to 500 million.

Enough already? For sure. In fact—and again, let’s acknowledge that all this involves mixing apples and oranges and a whole lot besides—it may be time for a moratorium on analyses and predictions. Instead, let’s focus more on what we can do to drive the market rather than track where it’s going.

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices still coming down the pike are not just smaller PCs—they represent, and drive, a sea change in behavior. It’s our responsibility to offer applications and services that are flexible, convenient, customized and secure. And the only numbers that count are the ones where we beat even the most optimistic projections.

This article originally appeared as a guest post on MyBankTracker.com.

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Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp

http://www.forrester.com/rb/analyst/brad_strothkamp

James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.