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According to research by Forrester, a fifth of internet users in Western Europe currently use mobile banking, which could make it a more important innovation for managing our money than even cash machines or credit cards, Finextra reports.

The global research and advisory firm, which based its research on over 13,600 consumer surveys, found that SMS text alerts remain the most popular way for customers to bank using their mobiles in most countries.

However, the findings revealed that the use of mobile banking 'apps' is also rapidly growing - fast overtaking many other banking channels. Indeed, Forrester predicts that in both developed and developing economies, mobile banking will become the main way 'perhaps most' customers will manage their money.

Other key findings from the report: mobile banking app users are the greatest users of mobile transfers, with more than a third (36%) using their mobile app to move money between their bank accounts in the last three months, and almost a quarter (24%) using their handset to transfer money to family or friends.

14% of European internet users with mobile phones used SMS text alerts last year, an increase on 13% in 2010. SMS alerts are especially popular in Spain and Italy. Yet here in the UK, only 2% of online adults currently use a mobile app to manage their accounts - but as banks increasingly offer mobile banking apps, this could soon change.

A spokesperson for thinkmoney commented: "Mobile banking is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for people to manage their money, with many taking advantage of the convenience and speed it can offer.

"The thinkmoney Current Account, for example, offers SMS text services, which could really help customers keep an eye on their account, just about whenever and wherever they are."

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