W.Eu warms to mobile banking

Mobile users in western Europe are warming to mobile banking applications, with nearly 10% of subscribers in the big five markets accessing their accounts from their handsets in 1Q11.
Figures from comScore show 8.5% of the combined mobile subscriber base in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK – some 20 million subscribers - used mobile banking services during the quarter. A further 5.2% used electronic payment services and 5.1% accessed credit card accounts.
The research firm credits a growing number of smartphone banking apps for the increase in usage. It states 70% of the 20 million subscribers accessed services on the devices, a 40% increase since comScore began tracking the sector in August.
Jeremy Copp, the firm’s European mobile vice president, said the figures indicate consumer’s trust in mobile banking services is growing. Trust in the security of mobile banking and payments services is often cited as the biggest barrier to uptake of the services, but Copp notes making the services more accessible is helping users – particularly men aged 25 to 35 years – overcome their fears. “[W]ith mobile banking becoming more user friendly through apps and mobile optimized pages, people are gradually becoming accustomed to it.”
France ranked top of the list in terms of the individual countries, with 10.3% of subscribers accessing services during 1Q. However Germany, which has the highest smartphone penetration in Europe, ranked bottom of the five on 6.8%.