With 2014 now in its closing days, predictions about the upcoming 2015 are coming about as fast and furious as predictions about 2014 did in the closing days of 2013. Mobile commerce is to prove no different, as reports emerge from a coalition of innovators in the field—FirstBank, Mitek, and U.S. Bank—about just what's likely to show up in 2015, giving those who pay attention to the field a new focal point to consider in planning for that all-too-inevitable future.
The predictions run the gamut from the perfectly reasonable to the somewhat outlandish, as predictions commonly do, and start with one shockingly sensible premise: by this time next year, over half of all financial institutions will have some kind of mobile deposit service specifically geared toward business customers. This makes some sense; though for the most part, mobile deposit has been geared toward the consumer side of the market as opposed to the business side, there are a lot more checks in the business market than in the consumer market, so gearing up an offering to help that market out just makes sense.
Going on from there, meanwhile, was the projection that 2015 was going to be a big year for saving customers time with mobile deposit operations. With Celent projecting that the user base will go from 33 million this year to 47 million next year, using a standard average time per user means that North American users alone will save about 282 million hours total in 2015 with mobile deposit. Additionally, banks are expected to turn to mobile devices to offer personalized services, which are commonly brought into play at retail operations and the like to provide a better customer experience and differentiate from competitors. Banks will reportedly pick up on this in 2015 and put similar tools to work. Further, a combination of mobile imaging and proximity marketing are set to give banks a further edge in the field, bringing financial services into play where such are needed and giving banks the potential to access new customers right at the point customers most want said services.
However, the last prediction seems to be the least encouraging; those who were hoping for mobile wallet services in 2015 will be somewhat stymied. There will be continued development in this field, of course—the CurrentC / Apple Pay fight might get a note of resolution this year, especially since many expect to see CurrentC finally make an appearance, but the widespread use of such services won't take place for some time yet. However, this will be a big year for building awareness and making the value proposition clear to potential users, so while mobile wallet won't replace the actual one in 2015, the stage is likely to be set for it to happen later on.
The predictions here are mostly rational; there aren't a lot of dramatic chances taken. The slow adoption rate of mobile wallet services, time saved in mobile deposit, mobile deposit adopted for the enterprise...these aren't dramatic changes. Rather, these are simple, basic affairs that we're pretty likely to see because these are incremental changes over already-established developments.
Only the end of 2015 will tell just how accurate these predictions were, but given the comparatively restrained nature of same, we're likely to see a lot of development along these lines take place in the near future, which is now much nearer than expected.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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