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看20美元廉价智能手机如何撬动移动银行业

目前,我所接触过的市场的都有一个相同的关键点:渠道创新。几周前,我参加了在尼日利亚首都拉各斯举行的西非银行业对话。来自尼日利亚和加纳的多家大型银行都参加了此次会议,共同商讨该地区银行业的未来发展问题。各大银行又一次将目光聚集在了数字科技的未来发展及其对银行商务的影响上。

我在演讲中传达的一条关键信息便是超低价智能手机的到来,并且坚信这将对银行产生重大影响。ARM及Mozilla公司均表示,将会在近期推出定价仅为20或25美元的手机。这些手机规格较高,采用了与iPhone3相似的屏幕。在现在的市场上,即使配置较低的手机,最低价也要80美元左右,而这批超低价手机将大大降低这一数字。

对于整个市场来说,这都将是是手机科技领域的一次巨大飞跃。我认为,这将主要影响新兴市场,不过应该也会涵盖发达国家市场。我们发现,一些大型银行已经开始紧跟手机业发展带来的契机。南非标准银行是南非最大的苹果设备分销商,他们在手机中预装好标准银行的手机应用,然后以低价将手机销售给消费者。对于很多低收入者来说,移动数据流量可能是阻碍他们使用手机银行的一大因素,为此南非标准银行想出来一个好方法:该银行所有支行在下午5点至早上9点之间为用户提供免费互联网。这项创新让各支行在下班时间成为网络热点。 银行的忠实顾客可以免费接入无线网。

这种创新的消费者策略与再创新低的手机价格相结合,将会大大推动手机银行用户的数量攀升。不过,这也意味着手机银行将变成银行的品牌前端,如何保证移动端的高品质服务将是未来银行的制胜关键。此外,如何在手机用户增加后提高盈利水平也是不可忽视的重要问题。

对于上文所述问题,来自国际数据公司的Andrei Charniauski 提出了几点不同意见:

“我并不认为这会对发展中国家银行业产生大的影响。

首先,选择使用价值20美元手机的用户,他们收入非常低,对银行来说基本没有价值,银行业无法从他们身上获得利益。

其次,如今,手机银行的主要功能还是信息获取和进行交易—即便许多大型银行也并未提供通过手机银行盈利的产品和交易方式。手机银行并不能使银行获得收益—它只是用于客户服务。

所以,虽然我认同手机银行用户增加是一件好事,但是这对银行来说意味着更高的成本。另外,我认为这项商业计划可能并不成熟—至少在近期或中期内看来如此。手机银行业发展任重道远。”

对于这些看法,我也给出了相应的回应。

首先,许多使用20美元手机的用户收入非常低,这一点我同意。但是我认为这对于银行来说还是有利可图的。首先是转账带来的收益。电信公司的非中介化投资让银行损失了这部分收益,现在银行可以把它们赢回来。另外,与USSD(非结构化补充数据业务)供应商的竞争带来的损失也会相应降低。

另外,手机银行应用无法使银行获得收益的观点也有道理。这里我不具体说哪些品牌,但确实有许多主导产品通过手机销售。比如常见的手机端“一键式”销售流程,常常用于信用卡、透支及保险等业务。

多个市场的银行回馈表明,手机银行业正吸引着越来越多的关注。我相信,价值20美元的手机将会让消费者放弃使用传统手机,并将逐渐淘汰导致USSD(非结构化补充数据业务)、短讯服务和浏览器界面的手机银行,而手机银行的用户则会越来越多。

 

In every market I visit, the message is clear – it is all about channel innovation. A couple of weeks ago, I attended the West African Banking Dialogue in Lagos. This event brought together top banks from across Nigeria and Ghana to discuss the future of banking in the region. Again and again, banks looked at the future of digital and how it would shape their business.

A key message that I shared in my presentation was arrival of the ultra-low cost smartphone. I cannot emphasise enough that this will have a massive impact on banks. Both ARM and Mozilla have announced devices will be on the market soon at a cost of $20 or $25 .The devices will be hi-spec and their screens will be similar to those in the iPhone 3. That is a serious reduction of the lowest price today – which is around $80 for a fairly low spec device.

This will mean a significant leap in the uptake of mobile technology across all markets. I suspect the impact will be most pronounced in emerging markets – but it will have implications for developed markets as well. We have already seen some leading banks seize the opportunities provided by mobile. An excellent example from the Lagos meeting was Standard Bank in South Africa – which is now the largest distributor of iPhones in South Africa. The bank offers the phones to customers at a low price, with their mobile banking app already loaded on it. Having realised that the cost of mobile data was a big blocker for many potential mobile banker on low wages, the bank had a great idea. All their branches have excellent internet access which was not utilised from 5pm to 9am. So they simply made their branches into wifi hotspots after branch hours. Customers who qualified for the bank’s loyalty scheme were given free access.

When you add such innovative customer strategies to the new device prices, you have the conditions where the adoption of mobile banking will fly. That means banks need to think carefully about how good their mobile banking is as a shop front for their brand. Banks also need to think about how they will grow revenue on the back of this upswing in adoption.

In my next blog, I am going to talk about the opinions from Lagos on the role of telcos in mobile banking – and why banks need to think seriously about mobile strategies involving telco dependency.

Andrei Charniauski(IDC):  

I don't see this having a huge impact on banking in developing countries.

First of all, users of $20 mobiles phones will have very low income and will represent virtually no value to banks - there is just no revenue to fight for.

Secondly, mobile banking these days is purely informational and transactional - even most developed banks do not offer products or transactions that actually generate revenue via mobile banking apps. Mobile banking does not offer opportunities to make money - it's for customer service only.

 So I agree that it's great to have as many people on board as possible, but this comes at a cost and I'm not sure that the business plan is solid - at least not in the short- and medium-term - must be a very long play.

I agree that many users of $20 smartphones will be on low incomes. However, I believe that there are certainly benefits to banks. First of all is the revenue from money transmission. Banks have been disintermediated by telcos and have lost this revenue, which they can now win back. It also leaves them less exposed to USSD service providers.

Further to this, you make a point that mobile banking apps do not offer revenue generation opportunities. Without mentioning brand names (!), some leading products do offer product sales via mobile. There are a number of 'one-touch' sales processes which can be rendered very effectively on mobile devices - e.g. credit cards, overdrafts, insurance etc.

Based on the feedback I have had from banks in a number of markets, there is huge interest in growing mobile banking volumes. I believe that the $20 smartphone will move customers off featurephones and will lead to the demise of USSD, SMS and browser based mobile banking - as well as opening up mobile banking to entirely new users. However, I would love to hear more opinions...

 


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