KPMG’s global survey, Consumers and Convergence IV, revealed that regional differences influence consumers’ behaviour. Although there were increases globally from 2008 to 2010 relating to banking and financial transactions on mobile phones, the Asia Pacific (ASPAC region, where mobile devices are most prevalent, showed the most significant growth in the adoption of mobile banking transactions.
Forty-three percent of respondents in Asia Pacific (ASPAC) say they make mobile banking transactions at least once a month, compared to 30 percent globally. In Australia, which had 301 respondents to the survey, 19 percent of mobile phone owners use their phone for banking monthly.
One reason for the result in Australia may be the lack of awareness of mobile banking offerings. Forty percent of Australian respondents did not know whether their bank offered mobile banking compared to only 10 percent in ASPAC and 24 percent globally.
Peter Russell, KPMG Financial Services Partner said: “Australian banks have tended to let consumers find their mobile banking solutions and have focused on this channel as primarily a way to facilitate mobile payments. As Australian banks are rushing to develop and improve applications for smart phones and the Apple iPad tablet this gap will narrow very quickly.”
Australia also lagged ASPAC and global respondents when it came to the level of comfort in using their mobile phone for financial transactions. Twenty one percent of Australians are comfortable with mobile banking compared to 40 percent in ASPAC and 34 percent globally. Furthermore, 70 percent of Australians have never done any banking on a mobile device compared with 55 percent globally and 38 percent in ASPAC.
Australians have not yet made the shift to conducting investment transactions over their mobile phones with eight percent of respondents having done so within the last six months, and five percent in the last seven to 12 months. Eighty-seven percent had never made an investment transaction, such as selling a stock or bond, over their mobile compared with 53 percent for ASPAC and 71 percent globally.
“These numbers are not surprising given the maturity of mobile phone transaction activity. We predict growth in investment transactions as business conditions improve and the functionality of mobile applications to conduct transactions improves.” Mr Russell explained.
“It is clear that mobile phone users have concerns over security and privacy with 59 percent of our Australian respondents sharing this concern,” said Mr Russell.
"Mobile banking offers a real source of competitive advantage to Australia banks. While our results seem to show we lag other regions, Australian Banks are fast catching up following the release of a variety of mobile applications in the early part of 2009. Our survey provides Australian Banks with global and regional benchmarks of how popular mobile applications are likely to become in the very near future" Mr Russell advised.
"Our research has revealed substantial benefits for banks which can shift consumer attitudes towards mobile banking. Banks have an opportunity to generate new business, attract or retain customers, control costs, and gain other advantages by deploying applications for mobile phone users,” Mr Russell concluded.
The survey covered 5,627 consumers in 22 countries. This is the fourth year KPMG has conducted this survey. It was conducted in the Australian Autumn, 2010.
A copy of the report is available at www.kpmg.com/convergence