Banks tip sharp rise in use of mobiles

Mobile banking still accounts for less than 10 per cent of the value of digital transactions, despite the rapid growth in customers managing their finances on the go.

Mobile banking still accounts for less than 10 per cent of the value of digital transactions, despite the rapid growth in customers managing their finances on the go.

As consumers embrace smart phones, the number of Australians with mobile banking has rapidly increased.

The number of mobile banking customers surged to 6 million earlier this year, and is tipped by banks to overtake banking through traditional websites in years to come.

But for all the growth in customer numbers, new figures highlight that mobile transactions are still relatively small in value terms.

The Market Intelligence Strategy Centre (MISC), a consultancy, said mobile banking activity accounted for 40 per cent of all digital banking log-ons, but just 9.6 per cent of total digital transactions.

The finding comes as banks rush to offer more advanced mobile products to consumers and small businesses, such as "digital wallets" that allow consumers to use their phones as credit cards.

Banks such as CommBank have also heavily promoted consumer payment systems such as Kaching, which allows instant money transfers.

But the big growth area is tipped to be small business users, which can use mobile banking applications for larger transactions such as paying bills or their staff.

A spokesman for MISC said mobile payment transactions were likely to rise strongly over the next 18 months, as there had been signs of significant growth among small and medium enterprises.

"It won't necessarily be because 18- to 25-year-olds are buying five cups of coffee instead of one, or paying their mates $50 instead of $5," the spokesman said.

"Even if they did, that would not have the same effect as SMEs doing their monthly payroll transactions on digital banking."

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