Banks have seen an increase in the number of customers opting for mobile banking services in the last two months due to a steep rise in small-value transactions using the service.

Countrys largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has added more than 20,000 customers in mobile banking in the last two months and expects the number to move up further in the period ahead, a senior SBI official said.

Both customers and bank branches have realised the immense potential of this service, especially when it comes to small value transactions. We have seen more number of customers availing this service in the July-August period, the official told PTI.

SBI has nearly 33,000 clients registered for mobile banking as on date while the number was a mere 10,000 in May this year.

Bankers attributed the rising popularity of mobile banking service to the surging number of small-value fund transfers.

Presently, customers are allowed to transfer funds upto Rs 5,000 and can make purchases worth upto Rs 10,000 through mobile banking.

Leading state-owned lender, Union Bank of India (UBI), has also witnessed a six-fold increase in the number of mobile banking customers in the last two months.

The banks mobile banking customer-base rose to 11,508 in August from 1,700 two months ago, a major portion of the new customers being youngsters, Union Bank Deputy General Manager (Transaction banking department) Pravin K Bansal said.

We have introduced many additional features to our mobile banking offering. Many have found this service very useful, especially for account-to-account fund transfers.

There is a lot of potential for mobile banking in the future, Mr. Bansal added.

Union Bank has targeted to increase its mobile banking customerbase to 50,000 by the end of this fiscal, he said.

Another leading state-owned lender, IDBI Bank, also has received a good response for its mobile banking service.

The bank has around 40,000 customers registered for the service and is confident of adding substantially more in the months ahead.

Still this number (40,000) is low. We have given targets to our branches to migrate a certain percentage of their business to innovative models like mobile banking eventually, IDBI Banks Personal banking head C S Jain said.

In the private sector, despite a large number of people registering for mobile banking, the number of customers who actively use the service is understood to be very low.

Mobile banking is still new in the market and it may take some more time for the customers to build up confidence in the new form of banking, a senior official with a private sector bank said.