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Mobile banking to exceed 1B users by end of year: report

Banking from a smartphone has now become accepted on a global scale, with one in five adults worldwide leveraging mobile finance services, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The amount of customers using mobile devices to control their finances will exceed one billion users this year, now that the technology has become so widely accepted and banking lends itself to a much more convenient experience through untethered technology. Juniper predicts that by the year 2020, two billion customers will be leveraging mobile for banking.

“Juniper Research believes that the future of digital banking will depend on banks and FIs offering customers and clients more targeted and more relevant options, aimed at specific user needs and experience,” said Nitin Bhas, head of research at Juniper Research. “This will need to be enabled through customer analytics and a number of other emerging information and data management technologies.”

Banking on mobile
The banking industry on mobile is increasingly gaining speed since the significant moment the technology was created. Juniper Research originally predicted mobile banking would hit the one billion mark in H1 2016, but with the energy behind mobile, it has adjusted its predictions to the end of this year.

The global mobile banking user base will eventually make up 37 percent of adults worldwide by 2020.

While many consumers still prefer face-to-face contact when ensuring their finances are being well-managed, banks need to be sure they have developed a multichannel experience for customers. Today’s consumers are accessing banks and financial institutions through a multitude of platforms, and while the growth of these new digital channels is rising, these companies must be prepared.

It is imperative that banks focus on streamlining their efforts on mobile and digital, while maintaining a strong bricks-and-mortar presence. This year, 19 percent of bills will be paid through digital assets such as mobile, desktop and tablets.

The amount of global online banking users in relation to the proportion of banked individuals will exceed 50 percent by 2016. The growth of banking use on mobile devices is likely due to the convenience of smartphones being able to be taken on-the-go, where users want to be able to transfer money, look at balances and pay bills with ease.

The study also noted that the use of cryptocurrency will most likely be seen as methods in completing financial transactions through digital platforms rather than its past use as payment itself. Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin.

“Our research noted that while most of the focus around cryptocurrency has been on its usage as an alternative to fiat currencies, it seems increasingly likely that the optimal longer-term prospects for cryptocurrency lie not as a means of payment, but rather as a means of facilitating payment or transactions,” Mr. Bhas said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily