Mobile banking users set to double to 1.8bn in next four years

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More than a quarter of world will use mobile banking by 2019, research claims, up from 800 million this year

Banks must “adapt or die” when it comes to the digital world, with the number of people using mobile banking set to double in the next four years.

According to figures from accountancy firm KPMG, 800 million people used mobile banking in 2014 but this will reach 1.8 billion by 2019 – more than 25 per cent of the global population.

Mobile is already the largest banking channel by terms of volume of transaction, according to KPMG’s figures which used primary survey data supplied by UBS Evidence Lab, but the sector is about to experience rapid growth.

The Global Mobile Banking Report suggests that the volume will increase as mobile banking and payment systems are integrated in to other technologies.

KPMG claims that in the short-term, the availability of mobile banking is a key factor when customers choose to switch provider.

Adoption rates are highest in developing countries reaching 60-70 per cent in China and India, as opposed to developed nations such as the US, UK and Europe.

KPMG said telecoms companies are leading the way in the developing world. Vodafone launched its money transfer and micro-financing M-Pesa in 2007, initially in Kenya and Tanzinia, expanding to Afghanistan, South Africa, India and last year Eastern Europe.

KPMG’s author of the report David Hodgkinson said: “Banks must adapt or die. Mobile banking is clearly supplanting all other channels as the main portal between the bank and the consumer. Many banks have already risen to the challenge and invested in new infrastructure and pioneering initiatives, but others must follow suit and commit to building both immediate propositions and on-going capability to keep up with the pace of change.

“This new, exciting phase of mobile banking innovation, spearheaded by new market entrants as well as pioneering banks, will be a rollercoaster. Banks must overcome substantial infrastructural challenges, and reconcile consumers’ appetite for ease of use with greater security. Boldness will be required to overcome these challenges, and the only sure-fire winner will be the consumer.”

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