Smartphones are taking over the world with a survey by UBS finding the increase in mobile banking will cause the widespread closure of bank branches.
The UBS report, titled “Is A Bank In Your Pocket The Next Big Thing” surveyed 67 bank management teams in 18 countries. The report found that on a global scale, banks should expect a 5.6 per cent reduction in branches as a direct consequence of mobile banking. Aussie banks should expect a larger reduction in the number of branches of around 11 per cent.
According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, as of June 2014, there were 5,483 bank branches in Australia. An 11 per cent closure would result in around 603 Australian branches closing down.
“We believe mobile banking will be a transformational technology in the future and that businesses that are more committed to this technology are likely to see the most benefit in the years ahead,” UBS said.
The report predicted that mobile phones will eventually provide a range of new banking features, including tap-and-go functionality at the point of sale, image capturing for deposits and payments, fraud-prevention alerts and social media banking apps. The report also predicted customers will be able to store documents in the bank’s cloud.
UBS said: “Going forward, emerging technology and innovation will further enhance mobile banking functionalities that aim to develop deep customer relationships and superior mobile banking experiences, such as communication enrichment, a comprehensive ‘mobile wallet’, and content monetisation, (for example) revenues related to music and e-book downloads.”
The report also predicted that mobile banking will overtake internet banking, with mobile expected to be used by more customers than internet in the next three years.
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