Over a quarter of working adults globally now banking via mobile phones

30 Oct,2013

By A Correspondent


According to global report from leading mobile advertising network, BuzzCity, mobile banking is on the verge of cashing in, BuzzCity surveyed 17,000 consumers across 22 countries on their attitudes to mobile banking and payments.


Amongst working adults over a quarter (26%) are using their phones for some form of financial or banking transaction, with nearly a fifth (16%) intending to try mobile banking. But it is those without bank accounts, ironically, that are fuelling the growth of mobile payments – a higher percentage than those with bank accounts.


Of those who are already mobile banking, balance enquiries (30%), bank transfers (26%) and cash withdrawals (28%),are the top three most-used banking features. When it comes to non-banking activities, 13% now use their phones to receive their salaries, and 12% pay for goods via their phones.


The research has brought to the fore the emerging demographic group of the UnderBanked – those who do not have traditional bank accounts -  who  make up 30% of working adults using mobile. The UnderBanked are connected with exposure to mobile financial services and this is fuelling the growth of mobile payments: a higher percentage (19%) is using mobile payments for paying bills then those with traditional bank accounts (13%). Mobile is bridging the gap for those with no access to traditional banking services – some 12% use mobile money transfer services.


The UnderBanked are not necessarily a high credit risk group. While many (43%) believe they don’t have enough money to open an account, only 8% have a bad credit history. At least a fifth (21%) feel they do not need a bank account probably because banks do not offer services that are important to them, such as fast cheque cashing services (31%) and small cash loans (50%).


Said Dr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity on the findings: “Our research is showing a seismic shift in global consumer confidence when it comes to mobile banking, as well as how and what people are using mobile payments for. Mobiles are intrinsically wedded to our daily lives and our research highlights that this now extends to how we bank, whether we are with or without a traditional bank account – and what we are happy to pay for with via our mobiles. For the UnderBanked the mobile phone has become, in addition to a communication and surfing device, a necessary banking and payment channel and is filling a gap that the banks cannot meet.”


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