Mobile banking has been a growing market for all banks for several years now, but there have always been a few factors that have limited adoption – and number one for many people will have been worries about the security of the technology.
However, with mobile banking apps now part of the fabric of everyday life for many people, and mobile payments both in-store and online becoming more commonplace, it seems that attitudes are changing quickly. At least, that’s among the key findings of a recent report that found confidence on mobile banking technology has soared in the last two years.
Mobile banking “natural and accepted”
A study conducted in the UK by Vocalink revealed that mobile banking has now become a “natural and accepted part of people’s relationship with their banks”. It revealed that 52 percent of respondents use a banking app on their smartphone, an increase of 14 percentage points from 2015.
Meanwhile, one in three people use their app to make or receive payments, while 23 percent of respondents pay bills via their phone – up from just three per cent from two years ago.
When it comes to payments, 52 percent of respondents used services such as Paym or Barclays’ PingIt to send funds to friends and family members, up from 33 percent in 2015 and just nine percent in 2013. The next biggest category was for taxi payments, with almost a third of users (32 percent) paying for a ride via their phone – a figure Vocalink attributed largely to the rise of Uber and its built-in payments platform.
However, it was not just for low-value transactions where mobile options are being used. Some 28 percent of consumers used their phone to buy a big-ticket item such as electronic goods or airline tickets. Vocalink suggested some of this growth can be put down to “huge improvements in app functionality”, such as airline apps that allows users to use their phones as a single platform for every aspect of their journey.
Growing confidence inspires greater adoption
Vocalink also observed that as consumers have become more comfortable and confident in mobile banking, they are extending their usage to more complex activities. For instance, the study noted that the number of people using their phone to check their balance has essentially stabilized, up just four percentage points from 2015, to 35 percent.
However, over the same period, the number of users transferring money between bank accounts and transferring money to or from another person are both up by nine percentage points, to 33 percent and 32 percent respectively. Making international payments is another growing area, with 30 percent of such transactions now originating from a mobile device.
Vocalink stated that this should not come as a surprise. The report said: “People grow into behaviors as they become more relaxed with a new platform, and, from a technology perspective, more familiar with the interface.”
Biometrics and AI help boost security confidence
Those who have yet to get on board with mobile banking and payments often cite security concerns as one of the key obstacles, but Vocalink’s report indicates that attitudes to this are changing, and new technology is behind this.
For instance, 34 percent of respondents agreed that the use of biometrics is more secure than relying on a PIN code, with 26 percent saying the opposite. Younger users are particularly happy to use these methods of verification. Some 28 percent of millennials have used fingerprint technologies to verify payments, while 35 percent of the group now believes that fingerprint technology is the most secure method of verification, followed by iris scanning at 22 percent.
Trust is another vital component in persuading people to use mobile banking, and banks are well-placed to take advantage of this, as 70 percent of UK consumers trust their bank to recommend payment products and services. Therefore, the future of mobile is clearly bright.