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Mobile Banking Can Deliver 300% Returns, Accenture Says

Banks in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe are reaping high returns by offering extra services via mobile devices.

A study of 20 financial institutions around the world that offer mobile banking, commissioned by Accenture and conducted by TowerGroup, has found a Middle Eastern bank that is getting an eye-popping 300% return on investment by letting its two million mobile banking customers pay bills on their mobile devices, including topping up their pay-as-you-go mobile phones, paying utility bills, or paying a fixed monthly fee for a premium services package.

Another bank in Asia Pacific has achieved an ROI of 230% since launching mobile banking in 2007, according to the Accenture report. It is transitioning from informational services, such as sending text message reminders to customers, to interactive services such as enabling customers to register online for mobile banking. The bank's executives said the focus on engaging staff at branches and the call center was critical to success.

And a European bank whose customers can check balances, transfer money between accounts and trade stocks with their mobile phones has achieved 60% annual growth of its mobile banking customers. The bank's executives said support of multiple smart phone device platforms has contributed to success.

A study from Berg Insight forecasts that the number of mobile banking users in the U.S. will grow from 12 million in 2009 to 86 million in 2015, and the European market will grow from 7 million mobile banking users in 2009 to 115 million users in 2015.

According to the study, financial institutions with successful mobile banking programs:

- Fully understand customer's expectations of mobility, such as their need to have the same experience on their smart phone as they have on their laptop.

- Minimize customer fees, which helps ensure greater customer engagement.

- Monitor and leverage the evolving functions of customers' handsets and the platforms they use.

- Ensure that their staff is fully engaged in supporting mobile banking.

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