Report predicts huge surge in m-banking

Gloomy global stockmarkets might suggest otherwise, but a new report predicts a massive boom in online share dealing through mobile phones over the next few years.

There will be more than 16 million WAP-enabled mobile banking customers in Europe by 2004, says Datamonitor’s report, entitled M-banking in Europe 2000. This figure means that one in 20 Europeans between the ages of ten and 80 will be clicking on the “buy” and “sell” button, as well as doing more mundane banking online. The UK will be at the head of the pack with 3 million online banking customers, compared with 2.8 million, 2.5 million and 2.3 million for Germany, France, and Italy, respectively.

Datamonitor sees mobile broking as the must-have service of mobile banking. Increasingly volatile stock markets mean that Europeans will feel the need to check their share prices and to trade much more frequently than in the past.

Meanwhile, Japanese consumers have already made WAP-enabled mobile phones their favourite way of accessing the Web. Figures released this week by the country’s three cell phone operators predict the number of mobile Internet users will surpass 10 million by the end of this month.

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