Banks invest millions in m-banking

Banks will spend £29m on m-banking this year, with growth of 129 percent over the next three years

Forget what you might have heard about WAP being dead: banks in Western Europe still see mobile commerce and mobile banking as the future, and are investing millions to make sure they are on the cutting edge.

According to a new report from research firm IDC, banks' IT spending on "m-banking" will be $43m (£29m) this year and that is just the beginning.

It's all about keeping ahead of the competition, according to IDC. "To avoid further threats from new competitors better positioned in the exploitation of this new channel, many banks have been heavily investing in mobile services since their first deployment," stated Barbara Blesio, program manager for IDC's European Banking service.

Most m-banking services are based on WAP, and IDC forecasts there will be 1.8 million m-banking accounts via WAP by the end of the year, mainly in Germany, Scandinavia and the UK. That is despite concerns about whether WAP can handle banking transactions, because of security and other issues.

See also: the e-commerce special.

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