Mobile Banking a Top Priority for European Banks, IDC Says

LONDON — OCTOBER 24, 2000 — According to IDC, Western European banks see mobile banking (mbanking) as a top priority and are beginning to make major investments in it. IDC estimates that Western European banks' IT spending on mbanking will be $43 million this year and is set to grow rapidly in the near future.


"Recent improvements to wireless technologies are paving the way to further development in the distribution of financial services through mobile phones and handheld devices," said Barbara Blesio, program manager for IDC's European Banking service. "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. Investment in these new technologies is also expected to be strong across the next few years."

The majority of mbanking services currently available in Western Europe are based on wireless application protocol (WAP) technology. IDC forecasts that there will be 1.8 million mbanking accounts (WAP users) by the end of this year, with the majority in Germany, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom.

However, IDC expects both the delivery of mbanking services as well as the offerings themselves will change over time. "mBanking leaders will be the banks that are able to redefine their mbanking value proposition, offerings, and competitive strategy in a way that is consistent with emerging new business opportunities," Blesio said.

Key Findings

· Although still in its infancy, the number of mbanking accounts will boom in Western Europe This year mbanking accounts represent around 14% of the

total online and Internet banking accounts in Western Europe.

· mBanking is a top priority for Western European banks and will be the fastest-growing sector of total IT spending on ebanking, with a 1999-2003 compound

annual growth rate of 129%.

· Banks must be aware that if they want to establish a leading mbanking offering they need to move rapidly and leverage the technology that is available now.

· WAP is the first widely announced technology available for mobile banking in Europe. However, there are some concerns about its ability to support

mbanking transactions effectively.

mBanking: Western European Forecast and Analysis (IDC #MB27G) provides analysis of the main drivers for European banks to invest in mbanking services. Estimates on IT spending for mbanking are provided for 1999-2003 together with a forecast of the number of mbanking accounts in Western Europe and selected European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, and the United Kingdom). This bulletin is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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