Number Of Australians Using Mobile Or Tablet To Bank Triples In 3 Years

In three years, the number of Australians doing “mobile-only banking” has tripled. This means they do not use any other banking channel, such as website, branches, adviser/banker or the telephone, to deal with their bank.

The findings come from a new report published by market research and public opinion survey company Roy Morgan Research.

By June 2015, 33% of Australians conducted internet banking using a mobile phone or tablet (app) in an average four week period. This has resulted in a group of people that only deal with their banks via a mobile or tablet. As assumed, younger generations take up digital channels at higher rates than older ones, with close to one out of ten people under 34 years old doing ”mobile-only banking”.

The combination of Banking Channels (i.e. services) used, a third (33.6%) of Australians use only a combination of an app and/or website (i.e. Digital channels) to deal with their bank. Another 29.4% use a combination of Digital and Traditional (i.e. branch, adviser/banker or telephone) channels. Leaving 15.8% of Australians only using Traditional channels, and over one in five (21.2%) not using any channel in an average four week period.

In other words with the majority of Australians using a Digital channel to bank, it is interesting to see that most of them have not used a branch, telephone, financial adviser or private banker in the last four weeks.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, said, “There is no doubt that the way in which we interact with our banks is changing and as such how we view this relationship is evolving. The rise of the mobile channel for Banking is equal parts opportunity and threat.  As more and more people have a “mobile only” relationship with their bank there is the danger of being seen as a function rather than a relationship.  In addition, with the digital world evolving at such as rapid rate, it is imperative that these organisations be at the cutting edge of innovation and customer centric design to ensure that they remain close to their customers.

However, this being said, the convenience and function offered by this channel enables customers to be more engaged with their finances on a day to day level.  This comfort with mobile and digital opens the flood gates to innovations in payments. With the Australian customer already engaged in mobile centric banking, the step to payments should be more of an evolution rather than a revolution.

This presents an interesting challenge for the sector.  If the payment of goods and services is the most common financial interaction, what will be the implication of the third party platform (e.g. digital wallets) on the customer’s relationship with their Bank?  Will it bring them closer or will it mean there are seen as a wholesale commodity?  Time will tell, but one thing is certain, change will happen in this space and the potential implications could be dramatic.”


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