Nearly 500 million people worldwide could be using mobile phones for banking by 2013, according to a report released Friday by Allied Business Intelligence Inc.
The New York company defined three major categories for mobile financial services: mobile banking applications, domestic person-to-person payment, and international remittances.
Mobile banking will be most popular in industrialized countries, and the two types of person-to-person services could have a huge impact in the developing world by boosting commerce and offering new financial tools to the unbanked, Allied said.
"Mobile financial services have the potential to be bigger than mobile TV and premium mobile content in terms of numbers of subscribers, Allied senior analyst Mark Beccue said in a press release. "They have the broadest demographic appeal; almost anyone over the age of 18 is a potential user."