Growth in SA mobile banking use - FNB

FNB is intent on driving digital banking. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
FNB is intent on driving digital banking. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – An increasing number of South Africans are migrating their banking to mobile applications, says a financial institution.

“Over 1.5 million active devices currently use the FNB Banking App,” Sahil Mungar, head of Marketing for FNB Digital Banking told Fin24.

He added that younger bank customers are first adopters of mobile application banking technologies.

“Just over 50% of users are millennials, with the remainder being Generation X and Baby Boomers. Generation X accounts for about 50% of the rand value spent on the App. eBucks are used even more by Millenials to pay for purchases (76%) than Generation X (21%).”

The data ties in with research from Juniper that predicted one billion people across the globe would use mobile banking applications by the end of this year.

Multiple channels

“This global user base is forecast to reach two billion by 2020, by which time it will represent 37% of the global adult population,” Juniper said, adding that technology adoption has been particularly aggressive in emerging markets.

Banks in SA have been racing to produce multiple channels to conduct financial transactions.

Standard Bank made public its drive to build an Apple Watch banking app and Absa has built its application that works even if customers are not signed up for online banking.

Mungar said that FNB had noticed a high conversion rate where customers migrate their transactions to the application.

“Customers use the banking app for a variety of daily needs including balances, payments, transfers and prepaid transactions, and other transactions such as share investing, contacting their bankers and eBucks rewards.”

Globally, the digital banking technologies have been linked to branch closures, though Juniper argued that banks would have to balance digital customers with those who preferred face-to-face interactions.

“This is more likely to be centred on the mobile device as more banks move toward a ‘mobile first’ approach; additionally, this trend is likely to accelerate given the scale of physical branch closures in some markets”, said research author Nitin Bhas.

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