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51% of UK’s Frequent Internet Users Are Interested in Mobile Banking

- New study shows significant interest from existing online banking users aged 16-34

One in four users would consider switching banks if they were offered free mobile banking services and 51% would be interested in using a mobile
banking service according to a survey of 2,127 UK online users, conducted by Forrester Custom Research and commissioned by mobile banking
specialist Meridea.

Nearly one third of those surveyed already regularly browse the internet regularly from their mobile phone and 60% of all those surveyed could
carry out mobile banking on their existing mobile handsets -if it was available to them. In terms of mobile banking capabilities, they are most
interested in being able to check account balances, being warned when their account goes overdrawn, freezing a card and making payments or
transfers.

Conducted in October 2005, the survey represents UK consumers that use the Internet frequently and shows that interest in mobile banking is highest
amongst the 16 to 34 age groups. CEO of Meridea, Jukka Riivari underlined the importance of this finding saying: “These age bands are a key target but they are the least likely to visit a branch office and are the least interested in web banking. This is why their interest in using mobile banking is significant and confirms the importance of in-phone branding with personalised offers and messages to secure the loyalty of this emerging sector. This "third screen" will be the target for the next ‘media war’ as banks compete to secure space as icons in your mobile phone menu.’

Heavy mobile phone users, i.e. those who spend more than £30 per month on mobile calls, were three times more interested in mobile banking. This underlines that it will be users familiar with mobile and internet technologies that will be the early adopters of this channel. Interestingly,
nearly half of all surveyed, 45% used a Nokia mobile phone compared with 14% using Motorola and 11% Sony Ericsson or Samsung.

The research indicates that the heavy mobile phone user segment is affluent as nearly three quarters of the sample had savings or deposit accounts and 30% owned stocks and shares. They are already comfortable with and interested in using digital self-service technology - over 70% of the 20-55 year old online users regularly conduct internet banking on their pcs and use services on their mobile phones. However, more than half of those surveyed listed transaction cost, security and ease of use as potential concerns about mobile banking.

Jukka Riivari, CEO of Meridea added; "Our mobile banking solution is succeeding* because it is easy to use, yet gives customers the full service
and convenience of their own bank branch in their phone. It is as secure, if not more so, than internet banking and our online/offline design means the
costs are kept very low for both bank and customer. Mobile banking gives banks a unique opportunity to extend and reinforce relationships with their customers allowing them to place their brand in the customers’ pocket. They need to ensure it is their ‘branch’ you use and not their competitors’."

*Standard Chartered Bank announced the first go-live of its mobile banking solution developed by Meridea in October 2005 in Singapore. Further announcements from European banks will be made early in the New Year.