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UK lagging behind most of Europe in mobile banking

Antony Savvas | July 4, 2013
More than a third (37 percent) of European internet users bank with their mobile devices.

More than a third (37 percent) of European internet users bank with their mobile devices, according to a survey of almost 12,000 web users across 12 European countries.

However, the UK is lagging behind most other countries when it comes to mobile banking.

Market research firm Ipsos was commissioned by bank ING to measure mobile banking penetration and what services were popular.

The research found that the Netherlands and Spain (both 44 percent of web users) and Turkey (49 percent) were the most developed mobile banking markets. The UK stood at just 35 percent - below the overall figure despite the UK market deemed to be a premium mobile banking market for many mobile players.

The UK was also behind Poland, Austria and Italy, although just ahead of Germany. Earlier this week Telefonica, owner of the O2 brand, inked a mobile payments and commerce deal with Monetise, with the UK the first target for introducing new services.

More than three-quarters of UK users who use mobile banking say they feel "more in control of their money". Although half of Germans who do not use mobile banking say they are put off by security fears.

"People who use mobile banking generally feel more in control of their money," said ING senior economist Ian Bright. "Most of them say they pay their bills on time more often and are overdrawn less often. This is perhaps because 84 percent of mobile bankers check their balances more regularly since using mobile banking."

Despite the gradual rise of mobile commerce half of European consumers surveyed preferred to use cash when shopping because "it is easier to see when they are spending too much".

When asked what they expected from banks on social media, the most popular of six options presented was banks giving tips for saving (70 percent). Communicating messages about the company and its corporate social responsibility (CSR) was also popular (61 percent), and information about "how the economy affects me" was the third most popular option (56 percent).

While making payments on social media was not high on the agenda for most respondents, almost 40 percent under the age of 34 years said they expected banks to make it possible.


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