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Mobile banking customers to reach one billion by 2017

220px-Hand_held_phone_in_carA recent report revealed that the number of customers who utilize mobile banking technology will reach more than one billion by 2017, compared to 590 million this year.

Though the forecast only represents 15 percent of mobile device users, approximately 50 percent of all mobile users are unbanked or have limited access to traditional banking services, Telecoms.com reports.

The report, compiled by Juniper Research, also found that many consumers are already enjoying the benefits of mobile banking, which is currently available in most areas of the world. North America, Western Europe and the Far East will see the largest number of mobile banking users in 2017.

Mobile banking has been available since the late 1990s but was oriented primarily in Japan. At present, however, one-third of all U.K. consumers expect to use a mobile device to do all their banking by 2020, while two-third of financial institutions expect all consumers to utilize mobile banking services by 2017, Telecoms.com reports.

Mobile banking has also seen similar growth patterns throughout Europe. Almost 20 percent of Italians indicate that mobile banking is their preferred method of payment.

“In developed nations where the banked population is approaching 100 percent, mBanking is largely additive and bank-led, integrating the physical product with the digital in forming a complete banking package, particularly targeting young banking customers who organize most of their lives through the mobile device,” Nitin Bhas, a senior analyst at Juniper, said, according to Telecoms.com. “This has been reinforced by heightened usage of applications and substantial tablet uptake. Consequently, an ultra-developed reality is beginning to materialize, demonstrated by the launch of a completely branchless bank in Japan.”

Additionally, mobile banking has seen significant success in developing countries like Kenya. The mobile banking services available in developing areas take advantage of the high levels of mobile use versus the lack of traditional banks. M-Pesa, which is based in Kenya and has 18 million users, partnered with ICICI Bank to launch in India.

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