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Spain's Smartphone and Tablet Users Drive Mobile Banking Services

As mobile penetration rises, consumers want more financial services provided via apps and mobile sites

Widespread usage of smartphones and tablets in Spain is fueling greater demand for mobile financial services, according to a November 2013 survey by the country’s Mobile Marketing Association in collaboration with mobile marketing company Seeketing. All consumers sampled had a mobile phone, and 80% said that mobile access and functionality were key aspects of what banks and related institutions should provide their customers.

The study found that many mobile phone and tablet users already engaged with financial services on such devices. Three-quarters of those polled said they had searched for a checking account on a mobile device within the previous three months, for example, and 56% had looked for information on savings accounts.

Overall, 44% of respondents said they had used their smartphone to search for financial products, while 23% had done so on a tablet. In addition, the sample revealed a fairly high level of trust in mobile platform security: 46% of men and 36% of women said they would apply for a financial product using a mobile phone—a process that typically involves sharing a range of personal information. Among those who had already applied for products or services via mobile, checking accounts were the products most often cited, followed by savings accounts and insurance policies. That pattern was true for both genders.

The pressure on Spain’s banks, insurers and other financial services providers to develop reliable mobile offerings can only increase as usage of higher-specification phones and tablets keeps growing. Nearly 55% of the country’s mobile phone users will have a smartphone in 2014, eMarketer estimates, and that proportion will pass 70% in 2017. In addition, the number of tablet users in the country looks set to rise almost 15% this year to 13.2 million—41.0% of all internet users.

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