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I read an article last week that said the Commbank Kaching application has had over 500,000 downloads, and in general, the app has attracted more than 3.5 million downloads.

That’s success if you ask me, especially in a market of just over 20 million. The Kaching application is pretty simple – which is key to the success of mobile, even though many banks do not see this obvious fact – you can pay to any mobile phone, through Facebook, email and even at NFC terminals.

This is quite comprehensive when you look at what it can do, and how easy it is to use. Many people have often asked me about mobile payments, and if there is really any money in it. The short answer is yes, but to be successful, you need to understand two key factors: why would the consumer use the mobile for this payment, and why would the retailer want him to?

While it could be obvious to some, it is hard for many banks to work out as they are still obsessed with their plastic cards. I currently hold gold, platinum and this week I am the proud owner of a black card. Frankly, this means I am all out of colours now so what can the bank offer me next? Maybe Kaching would suit me nicely, as I do not have to care about the colour, and I can ‘flaunt’ it with my new iPhone 5, plus I can carry a lot less in my pocket.

Assuming an application like Kaching makes me happy as a consumer, what does it do for the bank?

Well, this is where the future of transactional revenue for the banks lies, and they (the banks) should wake up to it. Take Kaching for example, in less than a year it has attracted500,000 users. While many of these might not be active users – as some people simply like ‘collecting’ apps – they have transacted over AUD1 billion collectively.

So what you may ask? Well, if you really want to know how much money is in mobile banking, consider AUD1 billion at an average transaction fee of 1.5% – that translates to a transactional revenue of AUD15 million. Not bad for an app on your iPhone. You can see why Commbank is investing into the mobile channel. I think a lot of banks could be looking at this and realising that they are leaving a lot of revenue on the table, let alone not looking into to the future.

Mobile payments and revenue is there, and as bank you should be looking at these examples as proof. It is not just a trend anymore.

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