If you thought gas prices were out of control, take a look at the cost of texting services, which is drawing Congressional scrutiny. That, in turn, may draw the attention of mobile banking technologists, according to one analyst.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Herb Kohl (D-WS), sent a letter to the four major wireless carriers expressing his dismay that texting prices have doubled since 2005 (an average of 10 cents per message is now 20 cents). As chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Kohl expressed some suspicion that Sprint’s hike to 20 cents was quickly followed by the other carriers.

Aite Group senior analyst Nick Holland says the rising cost of data should worry those invested in the mobile banking channel. “This may be bad news for mobile banking since a core service for consumers is text alerts,” he said, via email. “The ubiquity of text messaging makes it a critical element of any mobile banking solution since it is the only data service that [all] phones are capable of using.

“With mobile banking still at a very emergent stage, bank customers may be dissuaded from using services if the cost of doing so is increased by mobile operators,” said Holland.

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