About 214 million people in Europe will use mobile devices to do their banking by 2018.
According to Forrester Research, 99 million people in Europe will bank on mobiles, while 115 million will use tablet devices.
It is not only the number of users that is increasing but also the services being accessed. As familiarity with mobile banking apps grows, people will complete more transactions via their devices, said Forrester.
“Consumers are progressing from simply checking their account balances or locating an ATM to making bill payments, transferring money, and researching and applying for financial products," said the research firm. "As that happens, mobile banking is displacing use of other channels like branches and online banking.”
Almost all of the banks surveyed globally offered basic services like checking balances and recent transactions, as well as transfers between a customer’s accounts.
More on mobile banking
However, Forrester said banks are now moving beyond this: “Many digital banking teams are developing a range of additional functionality, such as access to a wider range of accounts, particularly credit cards, push alerts and full transaction histories.”
Forrester added that banks are using mobile apps to take advantage of phone hardware features like cameras, augmented reality and global positioning system locators to offer more functionality.
The growing trend of banking via tablet devices is unsurprising given the rise in ownership. Forrester said by 2018, 47% of North Americans, 42% of Europeans and 6% of adults in the Asia-Pacific region will own a tablet.
Barclays Bank increasing functionality
UK banks such as Barclays are developing increased functionality for mobile services. Barclays has launched a 24-hour video banking service that will enable customers to receive face-to-face service from anywhere.
The Barclays Video Banking is available as an app for iOS and Android devices.
Barclays Premier account customers will be invited to do their annual account reviews from 8 December 2014. Mortgage, business and wealth customers will be able to use it early in 2015. It will eventually be available to all retail customers and will automatically match customers with a member of staff they have spoken to before.
However, recent research from CSC said the use of mobile banking apps has exceeded what banks anticipated and organisations risk service outages unless they better align IT resources to support the customer channel.