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There may be a surge in demand for mobile banking, but it seems that many UK banks are yet to catch up when it comes to offering mobile banking services to their customers, Computer Business Review reports.

According to research by Rackspace Hosting, only 27% of financial institutions here in Britain have a mobile strategy, despite mobile banking being widely accepted as the latest evolution in banking - and a key competitive advantage in the market.

This figure contrasts with the growing public appetite for mobile banking. Well over 50% of phone owners in the UK have a smartphone - and research from ComScore revealed that 4.8 million of them used their handset to access their bank account last year.

Despite this fact, the UK banking industry has somewhat lagged behind many other developed countries when it comes to offering mobile banking services.

However, Serge Van Dam of technology solutions provider Fiserv believes that 2012 will be the year that UK banks 'wake up' to the potential of mobile banking. He explained: "It will be more than something they talk about to 'seem innovative in the market'. It will cease to be a 'nice to have' and become an essential. This in turn will push a desire for investment and drive innovation."

Although Rackspace's research reveals that only 20% of banks have released a consumer-based mobile 'app' in the past year, 17% are in the process of developing mobile banking apps - which could pave the way for more banks to follow in the near future.

A spokesperson for thinkmoney commented: "Mobile banking offers customers a fast, simple and convenient way of managing their finances using their smartphones - giving them many of the services they need with just the touch of a screen. Our account, for example, offers a round-the-clock mobile banking service, which means our customers can check their balance or make a payment whenever they choose."

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