More than 1.75 billion mobile phone users will have used their devices for banking purposes by the end of 2019, compared to 800 million this year, according to a report from Juniper Research.
Emerging countries such as China, India and Bangladesh also witnessed significant growth in the past 12 months, the study found.
The report also noted that nearly 100 percent of the banks analyzed had some sort of mobile (SMS, browser and app based) and online banking offering, with almost every bank having apps available for at least one smartphone operating system.
Banking apps are ranked highly among the most downloaded financial apps in different app stores, with banks reporting high number of average logins per month per user.
“The level of maturity in number and innovation of services being offered in the market across several geographical areas demonstrates that banks now regard the mobile channel as an indispensable revenue-stream,” report author Nitin Bhas said in a statement. “However, with the mobile channel becoming a key customer retention strategy, it presents a great challenge to traditional institutions.”
The report also analyzes and offers a strategic discussion around the different business strategies and models for developed and developing nations including branchless banking, digital wallets and micro-insurance.
Back in 2013, financial services providers such as the Bank of America announced that more of their customers are logging in to their mobile services than through their online system.
Mobile banking technology is currently available in most regions of the world, driven by increasing consumer demand, especially in developed regions.
As consumers turn to mobile banking, the scale of the shift has been confirmed by the decreasing number of branch visits by consumers and also the closure of physical bank branches over the past 12-24 months.
For example, in April, RBS UK announced the closure of 44 branches across the United Kingdom.
At the same time, traditional banking institutions are coming under increasing pressure from branchless banks and businesses like PayPal.
According to a June report from Accenture, which surveyed more than 4,000 retail bank customers in the United States and Canada, significant numbers of them are open to switching to branchless banks, as well as to banking with trusted mobile brands.
Were Google to offer banking services, 40 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds said they would be likely or very likely to bank with it. In the case of Apple, 34 percent of the peer group said the same, while 37 percent said the same about Amazon and 46 percent were on board with PayPal.
Accenture said in order to compete, banks need to be offering merchant-backed rewards through loyalty programs and programs based on volume and scale and be advice providers, using the insights they have to help customers better manage their money and deal with financial milestones.