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Tablet adoption fueling electronic payments growth

Mar 18, 2013 Dave King

In recent years, the move to mobile has been one of the most important trends in the banking and payments spheres. Developers, vendors and consumers have begun to truly embrace these new transaction options as intersecting technologies emerge and improve. According to a recent report from Juniper Research, the market for tablet-based mobile banking is set to grow significantly in the coming years, and this may have something to do with these devices becoming more popular.

Mobile gets a boost
In its Mobile Banking: Handset & Tablet Market Strategies 2013-2017 study, Juniper found that one in four tablet users pay bills through the use of these mobile technologies. Overall, researchers suggested that the numbers of consumers using mobile banking services to pay bills, check balances and perform other operations on the go could top 1 billion by 2017.

If tablet use continues to rise among consumers, the firm estimates that the market for banking services targeted toward these devices could reach 200 million in 2017. Tablets could make up 19 percent of the total mobile banking market at that time.

"With online payments accounting for a significant proportion of all bill payments, especially in developed markets, BPP (Bill Presentment and Payment) transactions will indeed migrate from the desktop towards tablet devices," report author Nitin Bhas said in a statement. "Consumers often prefer managing bill payment and transactions via tablet devices compared to smartphones."

Considering recent figures on tablet use, it is no surprise that these technologies are likely to be one of the biggest sources of growth in the mobile banking sector. In a 2012 survey of 9,513 American adults conducted by Pew Research, 22 percent of those polled owned a tablet device of some kind, while only 11 percent had reported having these items just one year prior. While smartphone ownership ranked at 44 percent of respondents, the rate at which this figure had grown year-over-year was not nearly as large, with 2011 figures coming in at 35 percent.

Protecting consumer credit data with mobile security measures
If tablet usage continues to grow at this rate, addressing issues surrounding these devices will become even more important for vendors and solutions providers. As with many mobile payments methods, it is important to address potential data security problems. According to American Banker, a 2012 survey of 24 financial institutions conducted by Aite Group found that mobile banking and payments technologies are a big concern for many risk specialists. Of the bank risk executives surveyed, 90 percent cited mobile banking as the biggest source of financial services fraud that may be looming over merchants and consumers alike.

Additionally, American Banker noted that Javelin Strategy & Research's 2012 identity fraud report found rates of identity fraud rising, with the number of incidents increasing by 4.9 percent in 2011. This left 11.6 percent of Americans dealing with the aftermath of identity theft, which can include far-reaching consequences such as major damage to individuals' consumer credit reports.

Once a person has fallen victim to identity theft, it can be extremely difficult to truly recover. Especially if criminals use data they swiped from mobile banking platforms, electronic payments records and other sources to take out fraudulent lines of credit, this can mean that households continuously experience difficulties obtaining some of their most basic needs, including housing.

For this reason, it is not only important that vendors and developers of mobile banking systems take the time to create secure technologies, but that consumers are aware of their options to go off the beaten path when it comes to obtaining loans. Among many excellent options are seeking out lenders who are willing to use alternative credit data to determine whether to provide their services. This way, loan-seekers can prove their reliability through means like bill payments records, which may allow them to prove that their credit scores are not an accurate reflection of their ability to manage finances.