Mobile Banking Takes Over
According to new findings from Juniper Research consumers are increasingly embracing mobile banking and are set to exceed 1.75 billion users by 2019. Additionally, by then the number of mobile banking users will have exceeded the number of online users for the first time. Mobile banking technology is currently available in most regions of the world, driven by exceptional consumer demand, especially in the developed regions. Providers such as the Bank of America have already announced, back in 2013, that more of their customers are logging in to their mobile services than through their online system. The BBA, British Bankers Association in the UK, meanwhile announced that ‘transactions carried out on smart phones and the internet accounting for almost £1bn a day’. However, with the mobile channel becoming a key customer retention strategy, it presents a great challenge to traditional institutions. The scale of this challenge has been confirmed by the decreasing number of branch visits by consumers and also the closure of physical bank branches over the past 12-24 months. For example, in April 2014, RBS UK announced the closure of 44 branches across the UK. Meanwhile it was reported that Royal Bank of Scotland said last month that ‘it was inevitable that it would close more of its 1,900 branches after branch transactions fell by 30 percent over the past three years’. The BBA stated that notwithstanding these closure, banks would however remain integral to banking. Juniper’s research concurs: however, with in-branch transactions and call centre calls declining at the same time, the role played by the brick and mortar branch network will be redefined.