CHART: How far Australia is behind the rest of the world for mobile banking penetration

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Mobile banking in Australia still has a long way to go to catch up with most of the rest of the world, according to analysis by UBS.

For the report Is a Bank in Your Pocket The Next Big Thing?, the investment bank spoke to 67 bank management teams across 18 countries and then surveyed 20,681 consumers in 18 countries.

Defining mobile banking as the use of mobile telecommunication devices to do online banking tasks, this is where Australia sits in the world:

The survey found a bank’s mobile capability is already a key factor for consumers when selecting a new bank.

And there are considerable potential financial benefits for banks which have developed sound mobile banking strategies.

“Our consumer survey revealed that mobile users have a higher likelihood to recommend a bank than non-mobile users,” UBS says.

Most smartphone customers are also willing to switch banks based on competitors’ mobile banking offering.

And being close to your local branch doesn’t matter as much with mobile banking.

“Overall, the survey findings provided clear evidence that mobile banking is set to become the largest banking channel for the majority of banks by volume of transactions,” UBS says.

One consequence of more mobile banking take up is an expected cut in bank branches numbers. For Australia, this is higher than most:

“One obvious route to cost savings in the future is through branch reductions both in number and size,” says UBS.

The survey showed that banks expected to see a 5.6% reduction in branch footprint on average, as a direct consequence of mobile banking strategy.

In Australia, participating banks expected to see a significant branch footprint reduction of 11%.

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