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Mon 13 Jul 2009 07:14 AM

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Yes to mobile banking, no to paying for it - poll

KPMG survey reveals 67% of Saudi feel comfortable with using phone for banking.

Despite 59 percent of consumers stating that online banking on their mobile phone is important to them, they are not willing to pay for it, KPMG's Global Consumers and Convergence survey reveals.

KPMG surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in 19 countries worldwide in a bid to understand the future for the mobile banking market.

In the Middle East/Africa region, 67 percent of Saudis said they were "very or somewhat comfortable" with using a mobile phone for financial transactions but only 39 percent of South Africans said the same.

The survey revealed Asia to be the region that is the most comfortable with mobile banking with 23 percent using the service.

North America showed the most resistance to mobile banking with 66 percent of respondents "not at all comfortable" with using a mobile phone for financial transactions. In Asia only 36 percent were "not at all comfortable".

Only 19 percent of global consumers are currently conducting banking through a mobile device, the survey revealed.

Tareq Al Sadhan, KPMG in Saudi Arabia's Managing Partner, said: "Partly fuelled by the arrival of smart phones, consumers worldwide are showing strong demand for bundled services and mobile banking is part of this equation.

"The next challenge will be to allay consumers' concerns over privacy and security in order for mobile banking to succeed and be financially viable and profitable for banks in the future."

Al Sadhan added: "The findings of KPMG's survey outline the dilemma for banks. Consumers want the immediacy of secure banking on their mobile devices but they do not want to pay for the privilege. Nevertheless, banks should plan on providing a mobile banking service to with the aim of avoiding the erosion of market share to competitors with this offering."

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