In 1967 the first ATM cash dispenser was installed at a Barclays Bank in a London suburb. Back then the ATM was regarded as cutting edge technology but bank customers were wary and initially had trouble in using a machine to handle their hard earned cash and favoured the branch counter transaction. Nowadays, ATMs are common place on every High Street and it's hard to imagine life without them and banking continues to develop to keep pace with changes in technology and consumer demands. Now mobile banking is regarded as the technology to watch and has taken over from internet banking as the new kid on the block. So what exactly is mobile banking?
Mobile banking lets you access financial services using your mobile phone handset remotely so you don't need to be near your pc or bank branch to keep an eye on your bank accounts. In the past couple of years the number of users has increased and banks have made dedicated efforts to increase the quality of their mobile services offering. Research carried out by ATM Marketplace also shows that consumers are so impressed by the convenience of mobile banking that they use it even though they have concerns about its security. Banks and mobile providers are continuing to invest millions into ensuring transaction safety but if you're still hesitant it might be a good idea to dip your toe into the water first.
A simple way to become familiar with mobile banking is to sign up for text banking and start to receive account balance alerts. Your bank will alert you by text if your account goes overdrawn or provide you with an updated account balance direct to your mobile handset. Some banks also allow inter-account money transfers and can provide local branch information (locations of nearest ATMs and opening hours) by text message. Most banks don't charge for using this service either so you'll benefit from the convenience of being able to bank on the move without it costing you anything. Overdraft warning messages will also save you on bank charges as you'll be able to top up your account balance.
Interestingly text banking was developed to help poorer countries in the Third World access the banking system. Many people live in remote locations and have no access to a bank branch and text banking allows them to send and receive money to and from family, friends and employers in other countries. Last month figures showed that Kenya is now leading the mobile banking revolution with two thirds of its adult population using the system.
The smartphone is bringing yet another easy to use facet to mobile banking, the app. Most banks now have free to download apps for both iphone and android operating systems that allow user quick and easy access to their entire account with a simple swipe of their touch screen. Although a relatively new addition to the mobile banking world most of these apps are incredibly detailed and built to be as user friendly as possible making them very popular.
The Future of Banking
There are now clear trends in the move towards mobile banking and EFMA, the European Financial Management and Marketing Association has declared that the â€˜future of retail banking is mobile banking' as people continue to move away from using the bank branch network and ATMs. Banks know that they need to embrace the changes and invest in future technologies if they want to survive.
Looking for a convenient way to manage your finances? Text banking could be the introduction you need to join the mobile banking revolution.