Britain’s booming mobile banking sector is to be reviewed by regulators to check that banks have the right IT systems in place and that enough is being done to protect customers from potential fraudsters.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also wants banks to spell out their policies if a customer makes a mistake, such as paying the wrong recipient or typing in the wrong amount in a transfer via his or her smartphone app.
The so called “thematic review” comes amid growing fears that the market is developing at such a speed it will become increasingly difficult for Britain’s biggest high street banks to keep up.
Research earlier this year showed that one in five adults across the UK have made a payment over their mobile phone or iPad. And a quarter of us use our smartphones to check our bank balances.
Just last week the Payments Council said it believed mobile phones would be used for 1.5 billion transactions a year by 2020, up from the current 356 million. Mobile phones are already used almost as much as the chequebook to settle debts.
Clive Adamson, the FCA’s supervision director, said: “The technology that is now contained in a smartphone is greater than most computers had only a few years ago and mobile banking has the potential to rapidly increase in popularity”.
“We approach this review with clear outcomes in mind. We want to support innovation that provides consumers with products that meet their needs and expectations while also ensuring their interests are protected.”