Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 23, 2015: The global banking industry has witnessed a significant transformation. Consumers increasing dependency on smartphones and the advent of new technological innovations have created new opportunities for mobile banking and payments applications globally. With a large number of banks introducing pilot programs using mobile applications that enable consumers to bank from the comfort of their home, Mr. Gary Collins, Head –Mobile Banking, Westpac Pacific will take center stage at the 5th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2015 to discuss the emerging challenges and opportunities in the field of mobile banking.
With extensive experience in the domain of mass-market banking, payment strategies and financial inclusion in developing and emerging markets in Africa and Asia Pacific region, Gary’s forte lies in mobile banking and mobile financial services, regulations and business models. In an interview, ahead of the Middle East Banking Innovation Summit, Gary throws light on the trends seen in the mobile banking and payments space globally.
What are the trends that are currently dominating the mobile banking space?
Mobile banking has evolved, from the first digital wave, where mobile banking was all about staying abreast with the introduction and adoption of the latest mobile and digital technologies. Today however customers have come to expect more than just a means to access their bank accounts from a mobile phone, they are looking for a fully contextual digital experience that not only adds value to their banking but one that seamlessly connects and integrates their digital life experience and the real world.
What do customers want when it comes to mobile banking, and what mobile services/products do they use the most?
Broadly speaking, in many developing markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific, the use and take-up of traditional banking services (deposits, term deposits, savings and investments) remains relatively low across many ‘mass-market’ segments (the so-called ‘bottom of the pyramid') and so the mobile banking experience is largely geared to provide access and services that meet customers specific needs, such as the ability to send money or buy pre-paid services such as airtime or electricity. In developed markets, with generally higher financial services penetration and maturity, customers expect an “always on” experience where banking, frictionless payments and seamless interactions with a broad array of service providers are at their fingertips.
How will Apple pay and other mobile wallets impact payments?
The scramble to stake a claim in the payments arena means that while there are very promising front-runners, there are, as yet, no clear winners in the race to set the ‘gold standard’ and dominate the mobile payments space. And, so while Apple and other wallet providers are continuing to drive creative change, the innovation that will emerge over the next 18-24 months will be crucial in determining the future of mobile payments.
How much do potential mobile customers still worry about security during transactions through Mobile?
While mobile channels represent an increasing share of transactions, it may occasionally be perceived as a riskier channel by both merchants and customers. Even if the real risk may not be significant, the perception of risk can often make the difference between success and failure and so transaction security is a sensitive issue.
What are the other challenges in the mobile banking space that need to be addressed?
Aside from transaction security, issues relating to mobile identity management, inter-operability between providers and role players and the need for global mobile payment standards remain among the most pressing challenges facing the industry.
What are your expectations from the Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2015?
I am looking forward to meeting fellow banking and payment system professionals, and hearing first-hand about some of the shared challenges that face the industry.
Hear Mr. Gary Collins, Head – Mobile Banking, Westpac Pacific discuss trends in the mobile payments ecosystem at the 5th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit, to be held on 14-15 September 2015, at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.