Can mBanking help Europeans control spending?


Mobile banking is empowering European customers with a sense of newfound clarity in a financially stressful world.

Such is the finding of a new study by ING, which revealed that Europeans feel that they have more control with personal financing and spending habits since adopting mobile banking. Researchers inferred that the growth of technology and a bevy of social media channels has created new opportunities for mobile transactions. But despite the mobile infusion, cash continues to hold its ground, and most EU consumers believe cash is ultimately the best way to monitor spending.

The study surveyed nearly 12,000 Internet consumers across 12 European countries who claimed they use mobile banking applications.

Wherever You Go, There Is Mobile Banking

Thirty-seven percent of the survey participants said mobile banking gives them effective control over how they spend their money. Consumers enjoy unlimited banking access on the go, but still preferred cash for budgeting purposes.

Younger consumers are growing to be familiar with social media and are beginning to use social media sites to find product information and conduct financial engagement. Researchers predicted that young consumers will eventually use these sources to make payments, so long as the social media space continues to grow.

Better Spending Control

The Netherlands was reported to have the highest Internet penetration rate and the most developed mobile banking industry in Europe. Turkey was also listed as a leading country in regards to its mobile banking penetration rate, and was referred to as a “hotspot” in the report. Over 75 percent of UK consumers who use mobile banking admitted they can better monitor their spending with banking apps. Fifty-percent of Germans who do not use mobile banking reported that they still had many concerns about security protection.

Cash Wins The Race

The rapid production of technology has been powerful, but not strong enough to overrule the popularity of cash. Cash is still voted as the most popular method for controlling finances and managing accounts. More than 50 percent of respondents said they prefer to bring cash on shopping trips because of its transparency. Consumers can tangibly monitor how much they have spent while shopping and know when to stop spending.  Sixty-one percent of Spanish participants agreed cash was better, in addition to the 64 percent of Spanish consumers in the under 25 years of age who said the same.

#HowToSave #GoGreen #EconomicImplications

Interestingly the survey asked participants what they desired from banks that are active on social media. The majority of European consumers, about 70 percent, stated they would like to see money-saving advice. The second most popular response, with 61 percent agreeing, was company involvement with corporate social responsibility (CSR). Turkish consumers strongly advocated CSR on social media sites, with 79 percent of respondents saying they agreed with this option. The third highest rating option, with 56 percent of all consumers, was information about how the economy currently affects consumers.

News of mobile banking growing consumer adoption and presence is not alarming, nor is it a trend that was not previously predicted. However, the study makes it clear that cash will always have a role in the consumer’s life.

The European consumer response in regards to how they wish to see social media evolve in the payments context is both interesting and valuable for FIs and leads in payments.

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