18 November 2013

The Westpac Mobile Banking Report

Mobile banking improves awareness and control of finances   

A significant 64% of New Zealanders using an internet enabled mobile device for banking think it has created better awareness of their financial situation, over half feel more in control of their finances, and nearly one in four say they are overdrawn less.

These are among the findings in The Westpac Mobile Banking Report*, the first in-depth survey on the views, habits and opinions of New Zealanders about mobile banking.  Consumer uptake of new technology is impacting traditional business models around the world and banking is no exception. Kiwis have adopted mobile banking seven times faster than online banking at a similar stage.

Of those currently mobile banking, which is over half the population, 41% believe mobile will be the main way of banking within the next three years and 66% believe that will occur within five years.

General Manager Retail Bank, Ian Blair, said that with consumers adopting mobile technology at a phenomenal rate it was vital to understand the changing needs and behaviours that were being created.

“Without a doubt, the uptake of mobile and, more broadly speaking, digital technology, is rewriting some of the rules for banking just as it has for other businesses. Customers want to do more and also have more control, particularly over the transactional side of banking, and this report highlights the very real benefits consumers feel they are getting as a result,” Mr Blair said.

“Using mobile devices, Kiwis are checking in on various aspects of their finances a lot more regularly and are getting real benefits from doing so. They also clearly want to do more and it’s an exciting time and a challenge we are fully embracing.”

Amongst people mobile banking, more than 25% are doing it one or two times a day and 38% are using it at least two or three times per week. The top five activities are to check on balances (94%), transfer funds (83%), look at previous transactions (68%), pay bills (64%) and to pay friends (48%).

When it comes to the amount of money they are happy to deal with using a mobile device, 30% are comfortable processing $5,000 or more and 29% are happy to deal with between $1,000- $5,000.

 In terms of a wish-list of services and processes they want to do via mobile, 71% said they want to do everything on a mobile device that is possible when using a personal computer, almost half would like to use mobile for contactless payment situations such as receiving cash from an ATM and 44% want to be able to top up mortgages, roll over term deposits and increase credit card limits. For 54%, there was no banking activity they wouldn’t consider doing via their mobile device.

 Mobile banking also looks like it is starting to emerge in the ‘second screen’ phenomenon with the rise of the tablet. The term refers to multi tasking by consumers who use tablets and other mobile devices while the TV is on. The peak time for using tablets for mobile banking is in the evening after 7pm when the second screen scenario is most at play.

 “Given the iPad only went on sale for the first time in April 2010, the impact of the tablet is clearly cementing mobile devices as a favoured way of banking. If consumers are online shopping in the evening it’s understandable that online banking is a companion activity and that customers want to do as many processes and services as possible,” Mr Blair said.

 “And, with the bigger screen on tablets, it won’t surprise that customers are also researching higher value purchases such as cars and houses while sitting on the couch and it follows they will want to calculate loan repayments, check insurances and sift through various other options.

 “It’s these types of trends that we will be tracking closely to ensure we provide customers what they need from us. Consumers are driving this evolution and it is up to banks to listen to them and adapt,” Mr Blair said.

 Of those who have not yet started mobile banking, the main concern is security.

 “That’s not dissimilar to when online banking was introduced and is something we have to educate customers about,” Mr Blair said.

 Read the report here

*The Westpac Mobile Banking Report, our first report, surveyed 843 Westpac customers, 500 of whom mobile bank.  The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3%