More Australians favour digital banking

The number of Australians undertaking “mobile-only banking" has tripled in just three years, according to Roy Morgan Research.

The group has revealed that an estimated 1.1 million Australians surveyed forgo traditional banking measures, such as visiting branches or speaking to advisers on the telephone, in favour of using their mobile phone or tablet to carry out banking activities.

The research found over a four-week period, 33.6 per cent of Australians used only a combination of an app and/or website to deal with their bank, while 29.4 per cent used a combination of digital and traditional channels.

Just 15.8 per cent of those surveyed used only traditional channels over the four-week period, while 21.2 per cent used no channel at all.

The younger generation in particular favour digital channels, with close to one out of 10 aged under 34 conducting “mobile-only banking”, according to the research.

“There is no doubt that the way in which we interact with our banks is changing and as such how we view this relationship is evolving,” Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said.

Mr Morris noted that the rise of mobile banking is equal parts opportunity and threat.

“As more and more people have a 'mobile-only' relationship with their bank, there is the danger of being seen as a function rather than a relationship. In addition, with the digital world evolving at such a rapid rate, it is imperative that these organisations be at the cutting edge of innovation and customer-centric design to ensure that they remain close to their customers,” he said.

“However, this being said, the convenience and function offered by this channel enables customers to be more engaged with their finances on a day-to-day level. This comfort with mobile and digital opens the floodgates to innovations in payments. With the Australian customer already engaged in mobile-centric banking, the step to payments should be more of an evolution rather than a revolution.”

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Emma Ryan

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