Expert: Mideast's Mobile Banking Services Hindered by IT Shortcomings
The Middle East's IT infrastructure still falls far short of what is needed for banks to offer large-scale mobile banking services, a senior Emirati IT industry source told the Gulf News on Monday.
Some banks may have launched such services or are about to do so, but most still have not done either, said Nigel Spear, country manager for the Middle East and Africa at Brokat Technologies.
"There are a lot of banks in Saudi Arabia which need to do a lot on getting their infrastructure needs right for mobile online services," he said.
"As for those in the UAE, while there have been early adopters such as Emirates Bank Group, the second tier banks have not yet started," he added.
"Egyptian banks are also far behind on this count, while competition has forced Lebanese banks to speed up their adoption process.
"It's no longer enough for banks to only offer client account details over their mobile phones. For mobile internet banking to really gain momentum, other value-added services such as transactions and inter-account payments should be on offer."
Brokat expects to be shortly signed up by a UAE-based bank for its planned foray into mobile banking. Just recently, it won a deal with an Egyptian bank to provide infrastructure support, said the paper, adding that the identities of the two were not revealed.
"Banks are slowly moving away from providing primarily retail applications on their mobile services to targeting their corporate clientele through cash management features, etc.
"One factor that is favorable to these developments is the very high mobile phone penetration in most of the regional markets," he added – Albawaba.com
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