New Zealanders catch on to mobile banking

March 07, 2013

New research from Roy Morgan has found that New Zealand smartphone users are turning away from computers and instead opting for mobile applications when performing online banking tasks.

According to a statement released by the research firm on March 6, 16 per cent of smartphone users in New Zealand now conduct banking tasks on their mobiles.

That number is nearly double the amount that was recorded in January 2012, when 8.3 per cent of Kiwi smartphone users were found to be utilising mobile banking.

Meanwhile the percentage of New Zealanders performing online banking via their computers has also increased – although by a much slighter degree.

58 per cent of people are now using their computers and laptops to bank online, Roy Morgan found, compared to 57.3 per cent in January of last year.

General manager of Roy Morgan New Zealand Pip Elliott says that the results are evidence that people are switching on to the convenience of smartphone banking.

"Banks are rightly investing in mobile technologies to give their customers increased flexibility and security," said Ms Elliott.

"The introduction of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology – which allows smartphones to be used as a credit or debit card – will no doubt impact further on the trend."

And it's not just in New Zealand where people are turning to their mobile devices, as here in Australia the number of people using their smartphones for banking purposes is also on the rise.

A Roy Morgan report released last month found that 20.3 per cent of Australians are now using their phones to conduct online banking transactions – an increase of nearly four percentage points over the number recorded in January 2012.

That same report revealed that the number of Australians still using their computers for online banking has dipped dramatically over the last year, from 55.2 per cent in January 2012 to 49.3 per cent in January 2013.

Organisations looking to take advantage of this undeniable trend towards the convenience of smartphone transactions will want to take the time now to conduct mobile application security testing, and ensure that their vulnerability management protocols are up to scratch.

Consumers using mobile applications expect that these tools will be safe and secure, and businesses have an obligation to ensure that they are adequately mitigating the risk of being impacted by data theft of another such security incident.

According to Mr Elliot, businesses looking to take advantage of the new era of mobile connectivity need to inform themselves about the various demands of consumers across different formats.

"To understand the shift to mobile, businesses need to be aware of the capabilities and rates of consumer uptake of different devices and the levels of demand for mobile applications across target markets and industries," said Ms Elliott.

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