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Quarter of Europeans are active mobile banking users

The use of mobile banking services is increasing in Europe despite security fears

A quarter of consumers in Europe are active users of mobile banking, but 32% still don’t believe it is safe and secure.

According to research from Forrester, 25% of European consumers are now active users of mobile banking apps, compared with 9% in 2011.

The firm predicts that mobile banking will “displace online banking for everyday tasks”.

This opinion is backed research of 80,000 people by Bain & Company in 2014, which showed that mobile is the most dominant form of banking in the world. The study revealed that banking using a mobile is taking over online banking via a computer, which decreased by 3% in 2013.

According to Forrester, the most common mobile banking activity in Europe is checking account balances, with 78% of active users using their mobile phone for this in the past three months. Just over half (53%) used a mobile phone to check or view a transaction, while 40% have received SMS alerts from banks.

Forrester said that in Europe the proportion of consumers using tablet banking was at 13%, up from 11% in 2014. 

But privacy and security concerns still deter some consumers in Europe from using mobile banking. The research revealed that 32% of Europeans don't believe it is safe or secure, while 30% don't trust banking on a mobile phone. 

Banks need to invest in  mobile banking technology or risk losing customers. Recent research from UBS Evidence Lab, which was sponsored by KPMG, said that nearly two billion people will use their mobile to bank by 2019.

When the report was published in August 2015, KPMG's UK digital and mobile banking lead, David Hodgkinson, said: “Banks must adapt or die. Mobile banking is clearly supplanting all other channels as the main portal between the bank and the consumer. 

"Many banks have already risen to the challenge and invested in new infrastructure and pioneering initiatives, but others must follow suit and commit to building both immediate propositions and on-going capability to keep up with the pace of change."

Such is the rapid adoption of mobile banking, UK challenger bank Starling is currently in the process of gaining a banking licence. When approved, it will only offer a current account, based on customers' smartphones.

Another challenger bank, Atom, has already gained regulatory approval to offer end-to-end banking services and was started with an app in mind. This makes it different to other full-service banks, which were designed to deliver services through branches, the bank’s IT head recently told Computer Weekly.

Amid this strong competition in the mobile banking space, Forrester said: “Digital banking teams should stop worrying about competitors and instead become obsessed about what their own customers need and value.”

The analyst firm added that to develop mobile strategies, digital banking teams should evaluate their mobile maturity, adopt systematic processes to perfect their mobile banking strategy, and change organisational structures to support the strategy.

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