Increased consumer interest in mobile banking – particularly when
facilitated by mobile technology – was one of the key findings of The Mobility 2014 research study, conducted by Arthur Goldstuck’s World Wide Worx with the backing of First National Bank.
That’s according to Dashboard Marketing Intelligence joint managing partner, Peter Searll, who is responsible for the fieldwork that provides the data for analysis.
The study highlighted substantial shifts in the banking environment. The majority of South Africans access their bank accounts through ATMs, 97% in 2012 and 94% in 2013, and branch visits, 83% in 2012, 84% in 2013.
The biggest shifts however – albeit off small bases – were the decline in internet banking on laptop/PC (11% in 2012, 15% in 2013) as well as the growth in three channels that are facilitated by the mobile – USSD (26% in 2012, 32% in 2013), internet banking on mobile (11% in 2012, 12% in 2013), and apps (1% in 2012, 9% in 2013).
“When it comes to banking, mobile has become mainstream and is still the major growth space,” says Searll. “The channel utilised depends on the transaction type and that consumers are still more prepared to use cellphone banking for information purposes than actually transact.
“Airtime – with 58% of users claiming to have bought it – is the main purchase while only 10% of users claim to have made a one-off payment to a store and only 6% have bought something delivered to them later.
“But, while it will perhaps take a while for cellphone bankers to feel comfortable and make more payments and purchases, I think it very positive that nearly a third has sent money to someone.
“This becomes even more important when read in conjunction with the fact that 37% of non-cell phone bankers claim they would use cellphone banking in 2014. If they do, that will represent a growth rate of 33% and could have major impact on the banking industry – and retailers linking with the industry – in years to come,” says Searll.
The proportion of respondents who claimed to have used mobile money facilities provided by the financial institutions in the past three months totalled only 9% of the interviewees. This is the same percentage as in 2012.
However, respondents who claimed to have used mobile money facilities provided through retailers in the past three months totalled 21%. The difference between the two groups is that 73% of those transacting through the financial institutions (mobile money) are also mobile bankers – compared to 30% for those transacting through the retail outlets.
USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network. Applications include prepaid roaming, mobile chatting, or banking.
Financial institutions providing mobile money: ABSA CashSend, FNB eWallet, M-Pesa, Standard bank Instant Money, MTN Mobile Money, FNB Geopay and FNB Pay2Cell
Retailers providing mobile money: Shoprite Checkers Money Market, Spar Instant Money, MoneyGram, and ABSA Western Union.