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Online, but Not Mobile, Banking Enjoys Wide Support in Australia

Sources estimate between 75% of consumers and 80% of internet users bank online

Digital banking in Asia-Pacific is defined by its lack of uniformity, due to vastly different economies, cultures, levels of telecommunications and banking development, and overall technological adoption throughout the region.

On one end are Australia and South Korea, which have stable economies and banking sectors, along with high internet and mobile penetration that has helped drive the spread of digital banking within each country. eMarketer projects that about two-thirds of the population for both countries will be mobile phone internet users by the end of 2014, which bodes well for mobile banking growth.

The banking system in Australia is one of the most developed and concentrated in the world. Several estimates point to wide adoption of online banking among the country’s 17.1 million internet users. Based on recent studies, between 75% of consumers and 80% of internet users are reported to have used online banking.

While different estimates come to similar conclusions about online banking usage in Australia, mobile banking adoption numbers for the country’s 18.9 million mobile phone users are more variable, often due to limited survey bases and differing usage spans conducted in polling.

For instance, a September 2013 estimate from the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association is relatively high (66.0%) due to a focus on mobile phone users. Similarly, Bain & Company’s estimate from August 2013 is also on the high side (43.0%) because its study only surveyed existing bank customers.

July 2013 research by Sensis found that 36.0% of consumers in Australia had undertaken banking on a mobile phone in the past 12 months. Considering there are more mobile phone users than internet users in Australia, and the study surveyed a broad consumer population, this estimate likely provides the most accurate view of mobile banking adoption in the country.

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