Telcos need to address mobile Internet costs to encourage uptake of online banking services, according to the CBA.
At the AIIA’s Mobility Innovation in Financial Services roundtable, representatives from Telstra, the banking and insurance sectors gathered to discuss the future of delivery of financial services through mobile devices.
Banking on mobile phones, particularly smartphones, has become increasingly popular in recent times as remote Internet browsing proliferates.
Telstra CTO, Dr Hugh Bradlow, said smartphones will supplant essential items such as credit cards in the future.
The convenience of being able to make money transactions on the go was a drawcard for consumers but the cost of browsing the Internet on a mobile phone was an impediment to mobile banking uptake, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) online banking general manager, Chris Smith.
“I do think one of the biggest challenges we see with our organisation for our customers is if they are going overseas and are using their mobile phone for secure banking transactions or to surf the Internet, they are actually getting a lot of “bill shock”, he said.
“One of the big challenges for [mobile banking] to become more ubiquitous is how the telcos can actually address that challenge so consumers know how much they are spending when they are overseas as well.”
The Buzz Insurance IT leader, Ian Frew, said consumers demanded immediacy when it comes to online banking but the inconsistency of broadband speeds from telco carriers is another worrying fact for banks and insurance firms.
“From a business perspective, while broadband speeds are improving, they are not consistent across Australia,” he said. “There are different carriers with different speed, flakiness and we do not have consistent standards.
“The cost of ownership of providing the capability [of online banking and an online claims system] is quite high.”