Learning from Asia About Banks & Carriers Playing Nice
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One of Celent's greatest strengths is that we have offices and analysts all over the world, covering various aspects of financial services. This is important because Celent is able to research cutting-edge technologies developed in one country/region that may be harbingers for market developments in other countries/regions. My latest report, Lessons from the Mobile Payments Leader: What the World Can Learn from the Japanese Market, is a good example. I'm now back in Asia, to examine retail banking technology and trends which will likely carry impact in North America and Europe. The first area of research focuses on a Japanese bank which has been built from the ground up, with mobile as its main channel. This bank offers a number of innovative features, including mobile-based account opening, loan origination and credit card/ATM lock. The second research area centers on the Korean mobile contactless payments market, which is much more bank-centric than the Japanese market, and thus holds different learnings for financial institutions hoping to enter the mobile NFC payments arena. Perhaps even more significantly, this research will reveal business models marked by collaboration and co-investment between banks and mobile carriers. In both Japan and Korea, there are a number of major mobile banking & payment players which have spun out of such bank-mobile carrier cooperation. In the U.S. and other non-Asian developed countries, mobile carriers are said to be looking to enter the payments market, while banks are hoping to enter the mobile market -- the Asian experience shows that these aspirations are not mutually-exclusive. Stay tuned.