Mumbai: Banking transactions through mobile phones have more than trebled to Rs 286 crore during May on account of a higher number of users with hand-held devices.
The value of such transactions stood at Rs 91 crore in May 2011, according to the Reserve Bank.
The number of bank transactions through mobiles also grew over two-and-half times to 3.34 million in May, 2012 from 1.28 million in May, 2011.
As number of mobile phone subscribers are growing rapidly, banks in collaboration with telecom companies are seeking to develop an alternate channel for the delivery of banking services as a part of the financial inclusion programme.
As on May 31, 2012, the RBI has permitted 69 banks to provide mobile banking services to their customers.
However, the central bank feels the growth rate is low when compared with the number of bank accounts and the number of mobile subscribers.
"Even though the value and volume are increasing on month on month basis, the growth rate is low when compared with the number of bank accounts and the vast mobile subscriber base of more than 900 million," said Harun R Khan, Deputy Governor, RBI in a speech on Financial Inclusion recently.
This indicates that banks are yet to fully exploit this technology even for their existing customers, he said adding that RBI has provided policy framework for a collaborative relationship between banks and mobile network operators.
Banks allow fund transfers both for personal remittances and purchase of goods and services without any ceiling as per mobile banking guidelines of the RBI.
The rapid growth in users and wider coverage of mobile phone networks have made this channel an important platform for extending banking services to customers.
Banks also offer information based services like balance enquiry, stop payment instructions of cheques, transactions enquiry, location of the nearest ATM and branch through mobile banking.
Some banks offer services like acceptance of transfer of funds instruction for credit to beneficiaries of same or another bank in favour of pre-registered beneficiaries.
However, there are technology and security related challenges to deliver financial services through information and communication technology (ICT) based models.