Money & Banking

To give mobile banking a fillip, banks told to boost user awareness

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 09, 2015


Undertake customer education through different communication channels: RBI body

Lack of awareness as well as standardisation of procedures have added to the problem of slow pick-up of mobile banking services, according to the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI).

Banks have, therefore, been advised by the Reserve Bank of India to undertake customer education and awareness programmes in multiple languages through different channels of communication — ATMs, self-service kiosks, Internet banking websites, SMS and emails — to popularise the process of mobile banking registration/activation and its usage.

As banks have started offering mobile banking services at different points in time, there are differences in procedures adopted for registering customers for mobile banking as well as in the channels of delivery and authentication process, said BCSBI.

BCSBI was set up by the RBI in 2006 as an independent and autonomous body to ensure that the common person, as a consumer of financial services from the banking industry, is in no way at a disadvantageous position and actually gets what he/she has been promised.

Mobile penetration in the country is now significantly high at around 93 crore. As on May 31, 2014, 86 banks had been permitted by the RBI to launch mobile banking services.

Slow adoption

In FY 2013-14, while there was growth in the number of mobile banking transactions, in value terms it was flat. That is, mobile banking services handled 9.5 crore transactions valued at around ₹6,000 crore in 2013-14, whereas in 2012-13, 5.3 crore transactions valued at around ₹6,000 crore were transacted.

In a speech in late January, SS Mundra, Deputy Governor, RBI, observed that while there is a lot of euphoria around the adoption of mobile banking and mobile payments, the model has been relatively less successful barring a few countries where the right environmental factors existed. In the Indian context, an objective analysis would reveal various reasons for slow adoption. “…There are technical issues like type of handsets, variety of operating systems, encryption requirements, inter-operable platforms or the lack of it, absence of standardised communication structures, difficulty in downloading application, time lag in activation, etc.

“These get accentuated by the operational difficulties in on-boarding merchants and customers and customer ownership issues,” said Mundra.

The Deputy Governor pointed out that the interplay of these factors has stymied the deployment and adoption of mobile banking as an effective and widely accepted delivery channel.

Issues of coordination and cooperation between banks and telcos, according to Mundra, are other factors which act as either a driver or a barrier to the adoption of mobile banking.

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Published on March 09, 2015
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